Screen Media has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to “The Outpost,” a war film starring Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones and Orlando Bloom that is based on Jake Tapper’s nonfiction book, the distributor announced Monday.
Rod Lurie directed the movie that was meant to make its debut as part of the SXSW Film Festival. Screen Media will now release “The Outpost” around the July 4th weekend.
Tapper’s book “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor” details one of the worst of the war in Afghanistan that took place in 2009 at Combat Outpost Keating, just 14 miles from the Pakistani border. There, 53 American soldiers as part of Bravo Troop 3-61 CAV squared off against over 400 Taliban fighters in what was known as The Battle of Kamdesh. Eight U.S. soldiers died, and about two dozen more were wounded, according to The Washington Post.
Tapper revealed in his book that later reports from the Pentagon showed the soldiers never needed to be at Outpost Keating in the first place.
Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson wrote the script based on Tapper’s book. The film also stars Jack Kesy, Taylor John Smith, Jacob Scipio and Milo Gibson. Three soldiers who fought at Outpost Keating, including Landry Jones’ character and Medal of Honor recipient Ty Carter, also appear in the film in cameo roles.
“The Outpost” was produced by Millennium Media, with producers Paul Merryman, Marc Frydman, Jeffrey Greenstein, Jonathan Yunger, Paul Tamasy and Les Weldon. The film’s executive producers are Avi Lerner, Jake Tapper, Trevor Short, Eric Johnson, Boaz Davidson, Robert Van Norden, John Kalafatis, Joanna Kalafatis, Mark Rhino Smith, and Tommy Vlahopoulos.
“The true story depicted – and incredibly executed – in ‘The Outpost,’ is one of the most heroic stories of American triumph. Rod Lurie, the terrific cast and crew did an amazing job bringing Jake Tapper’s book to life. We couldn’t be more honored to be working with everyone involved to bring this film to audiences this summer,” Seth Needle and Mike Messina of Screen Media said in a statement.
“I wish upon every director a movie so suited to their emotional needs. It was an honor and a duty to tell the story of my brothers in arms. I can think of no modern story that so beautifully displays the spirit of the American soldier. What we are willing to die for tells us so much more about ourselves than what we are willing to kill for. You’ll understand what I mean after you see the film,” Lurie said in a statement.
“Finally, the world will see what these young men came face-to-face with and overcame,” Millennium’s Jonathan Yunger added.
“I couldn’t be prouder to bring to even wider audiences the story of the selflessness and sacrifice, the courage and determination, of the troops who served at COP Keating,” Tapper said in a statement. “Rod, the producers, and the actors did an incredible job re-creating the outpost and the battle and perhaps most importantly the essential truths of the experience and the heroes there.”
“It’s been a challenging seven-year journey to bring this important story to the screen and we were always just one RPG away from it not happening. Thankfully, we accomplished the mission and now get to share this story with audiences everywhere,” co-writer and producer Paul Tamasy and producer Paul Merryman said in a statement.
The deal was negotiated on behalf of Screen Media by Seth Needle, SVP, global acquisitions and co-productions, and Mike Messina, EVP, distribution, with Jonathan Yunger and Jeffrey Greenstein, co-presidents of Millennium Media, on behalf of the filmmakers. Millennium Media is handling foreign sales.
Screen Media announced two other acquisitions last month, including the mystery thriller “Suicide Tourist” starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and the historic drama “Robert the Bruce,” starring Angus MacFadyen, both for a Spring 2020 release. In addition, production just wrapped on another upcoming Screen Media release, “Wally’s Wonderland” with Nicolas Cage. The distributor’s most recent release is John Turturro’s “The Jesus Rolls” based on “The Big Lebowski” character.
Deadline first reported the news of the deal.