Rod Lurie to direct Jake Tapper’s Afghan War story The Outpost
Millennium Films announced today that Rod Lurie (Straw Dogs, Nothing but the Truth) has been tapped to direct Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson’s (The Fighter) adaption of Jake Tapper’s “The Outpost: An Untold Story Of American Valor.” Paul Merryman developed the script, which Tamasy and Johnson co-wrote, and will produce alongside Tamasy and Marc Frydman under their Battle Plan Productions banner. Jeffrey Greenstein, Jonathan Yunger, Les Weldon, and Matt O’Toole are also producing for Millennium Films, with John Thompson, Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, and Yariv Lerner executive producing.
Based on CNN news correspondent Jake Tapper’s bestselling book, The Outpost tells the epic true story of the 50 soldiers who battled a force of over 400 Taliban in Northeastern Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. Originally built to engage the locals in community development projects and help the spread of democracy, Outpost Keating faced a constant threat of being attacked by the Taliban, putting the U.S. army soldiers stationed there at unbelievable risk. When the brass finally decided to close the base, the Taliban found out and decided to make a statement.
CNN’s Jake Tapper said, “Having a director who graduated from West Point and served in the Army, as Rod Lurie did, provides rare opportunity for the men and women of Combat Outpost Keating to have their story told the way they deserve. I’m excited about this project, and hope we soon see a spectacular, compelling and moving tribute to these incredible American heroes in a theater near you. They deserve the best, and I’m confident that Rod and screenwriters Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy will make that happen.”
Rod Lurie added, “The Battle of Kamdesh was the Thermopylae of our time, but with the heroes actually winning the devastating event. Two Soldiers earned the Medal of Honor for this one – which is more or less unheard of. You can bet that as a former American soldier myself, I’m fully invested in this film – which I kind of feel is more a destination for me than a job.”
“It is an incredible honor to be a part of the team bringing ‘The Outpost’ to the big screen,” says writers Eric Johnson & Paul Tamasy. “Jake’s book is an amazing work of journalism that tells not only the story of an important piece of our history in Afghanistan that is both tragic and triumphant, but also shows us the true meaning of the words ‘uncommon valor.’ The extraordinary courage of the men who defended Outpost Keating is a lesson and an inspiration to us all, and it is on us to do them justice.”
Jeffrey Greenstein, Jonathan Yunger and Lonnie Ramati negotiated the deal on behalf of Millennium Films, with Joel VanderKloot on behalf of Jake Tapper, George Davis on behalf of Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson, and Peter Nelson on behalf of Paul Merryman, Marc Frydman and director Rod Lurie, all out of Nelson Davis LLP.
“This is a project we’re extremely passionate about and have been actively pursuing for over three years now,” said Millennium Film’s Jeffrey Greenstein and Jonathan Yunger. “We’re excited to finally bring this film to life and pay homage to our service men and women, who put their lives on the line every day.”
Millennium Films is one of the longest-running independent film companies in the industry, with 20 years and more than 300 movies to its credit. It is best known for The Expendables series (more than half a billion dollars in worldwide box office) and the recent hits Olympus Has Fallen and London Has Fallen.
Lurie directed the critically acclaimed Straw Dogs, starring James Marsden and Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgård, for Screen Gems. He recently shot a pilot for TNT’s action adventure series Monsters of God.
Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson most recently wrote Churchill’s Secret Warriors for Jerry Bruckheimer and Paramount, and just completed a drama pilot script for Legendary and Lorenzo Bonaventura. Tamasy and Johnson were nominated for an Academy Award for David O’Russell’s The Fighter.