Brad Pitt to Toast Veterans at 'Fury' Washington Premiere
Retired four-star general Colin Powell and former Army Chief of Staff George Casey will join the actor for Wednesday's gala in Washington, D.C.
This story first appeared in the Oct. 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
It will certainly pose a logistical headache. But for the first time in the studio's history, Sony is throwing a world premiere in Washington.
On Oct. 15, the Newseum in D.C. will host a gala for the World War II film Fury, drawing elusive celebrities including the film's star Brad Pitt and even harder red-carpet gets like retired four-star general Colin Powell and former Army Chief of Staff George Casey.
"Security is certainly more rigorous [than for a New York or L.A. premiere]," says Sony marketing president Dwight Caines — himself the son of a veteran — who got goose bumps stepping into a Sherman tank during production.
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In recent years, Sony has held special screenings of Black Hawk Down, Zero Dark Thirty and Captain Phillips in the nation's capital. But for its first full-blown premiere on the Potomac, the studio is displaying the kind of pageantry reserved for an inauguration. The U.S. Color Guard will present the flag, and the national anthem will be performed. Sharing space on the red carpet with Pitt and Sony brass including Amy Pascal, Doug Belgrad and Michael De Luca will be three World War II vets — all in their 90s — who served as advisors on the film and who will be escorted by members of the U.S. Old Guard. Soldiers who protect the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will participate as well.
At the center of the red carpet will be a so-called Wall of Honor, where talent like the film's director David Ayer (himself a Navy veteran) and guests will have the opportunity to write a personalized note to active military overseas. (Pitt plans to write a note thanking them for their service.)
"This is the kind of movie that warranted it," adds Caines. "At the script stage, we always thought D.C. might be an opportunity [for a premiere] because the movie as it was conceived really pays homage to the servicemen and -women who protect us. When we saw the movie, that idea just solidified."