Navy Seals beat Bigelow and Berg to the punch
‘Act of Valor’ stars special ops men themselves – and puts Hollywood’s big guns in the shade
Since the death of Osama bin Laden, Hollywood studios have been falling over themselves to find tales of heroism featuring US Navy Seals, the special operations force that carried out the mission in Pakistan that killed the al-Qaeda leader.
Now it seems that directors such as Oscar-winning Kathryn Bigelow and Peter Berg, who are both working on projects about the unit, will be beaten to the punch by the Seals themselves.
Distributors Relativity Media have bought the rights to a hitherto obscure 2009 cinematic venture called I Am That Man, which has not yet seen the light of day. The film features actual servicemen and was made in co-operation with the US Navy. It was directed by two former stuntmen, Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh, known as the Bandito Brothers, who have previously shot recruitment videos for the Seals.
The film has now been renamed Act of Valor and is set for a full-scale release either later this year or early 2012 after Relativity paid $13m in what is being described as the biggest distribution deal ever for a film without any established stars.
Company president Tucker Tooley made it pretty obvious how the marketing plan for Act of Valor would work, explaining that the film "will give audiences an authentic inside glimpse and make them proud of America's finest".
For the record, the plot centres on a Navy Seal mission to rescue a kidnapped CIA agent and, predictably, take down a terror organisation bent on bring death and destruction to the US.
There is some professional talent involved in the film. The lead roles are played by Puerto Rican model Roselyn Sanchez and /Sons of Anarchy/ actor Emilio Rivera, while the script was written by Kurt Johnstad, who penned Spartan epic 300.