Jake Tapper's 'Outpost' Film Enlists Scott Eastwood, Orlando Bloom to Star (Exclusive)
The war action title is scheduled to begin production in August and is poised to beat to the gate a rival project at Sony that chronicles the same siege titled 'Red Platoon.'
Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones and Orlando Bloom will star in Millennium Media's Afghan war action film The Outpost.
To be directed by Rod Lurie (The Contender) and based on a book by Jake Tapper, the pic will chronicle the true story of the 53 U.S. soldiers who battled a force of some 400 enemy insurgents in northeastern Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. Originally built to engage the locals in community development projects, Combat Outpost Keating — located at the bottom of three steep mountains just 14 miles from the Pakistani border — faced a constant threat of being attacked by the Taliban, putting the U.S. soldiers stationed there at significant risk. When the brass finally chose to close the base, the Taliban enemy found out and decided to make a statement.
The Outpost is scheduled to begin production in August and is poised to beat to the gate a rival project at Sony titled Red Platoon that chronicles the same siege.
Millennium will introduce The Outpost to international buyers at Cannes, with U.S. rights currently available.
Eastwood will play Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha and Jones will play Specialist Ty Michael Carter, both of whom received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Bloom has been cast in the role of 1st Lieutenant Benjamin D. Keating 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, who was killed in Afghanistan. Additional casting has Cory Hardrict playing Sgt. Vernon Martin.
Oscar-nominated writing duo Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (The Fighter) adapted the book, which is based on CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper’s New York Times best-seller. Paul Merryman, Tamasy and Marc Frydman will produce with Lurie under his Battle Plan Prods. banner alongside Millennium’s Jeffrey Greenstein and Jonathan Yunger. Johnson will executive produce along with Millennium’s Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Eastwood, Les Weldon, Matt O'Toole, Yariv Lerner, Rob Van Norden and Boaz Davidson.
“Telling the stories of the men and women who served at Combat Outpost Keating, and those who love them, was the honor of a lifetime," Tapper said Thursday in a statement. "I am so pleased that Rod Lurie and Millennium will bring the tales of their selflessness and valor to an even wider audience. The 2009 heroic battle of COP Keating resulted in a rare two Medals of Honor and countless other medals. We can never fully repay the troops and their families, but the fact that millions more Americans will soon learn their inspiring story will hopefully convey to these patriots an even greater and deeper sense of appreciation.”
Added Lurie: “I am very proud to say that many of the actors we have already cast in the supporting roles are themselves veterans — as are crew members. I hope to continue that process. Mostly, though, I am just damn thrilled to be telling one of the most heroic stories of military survival ever recorded. Think of the 300 Spartans in a modern war. That’s what this is.”
Eastwood recently starred in Pacific Rim: Uprising and The Fate of the Furious, both for Universal. He made his film debut in Flags of Our Fathers for his father, Clint Eastwood, with other credits including David Ayer’s Fury and Suicide Squad. The actor is repped by UTA, LBI Entertainment and Stone, Genow.
Jones appeared in two best picture Oscar nominees last year — Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Jordan Peele’s Get Out — as well as Sean Baker's critically acclaimed The Florida Project. He recently wrapped production on Lone Scherfig’s untitled film opposite Andrea Riseborough, Bill Nighy and Zoe Kazan. Jones is repped by ICM Partners, Untitled Entertainment and Bloom Hergott.
Bloom is best known for his roles in New Line’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. He is repped by ICM, Lighthouse Management & Media and Independent Talent Group.
Hardrict's film Destined premiered at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival as an Official Selection. The actor also played a supporting role in American Sniper.
Lurie, who served in the Army and is a West Point graduate, created the TV series Commander in Chief for ABC and directed The Last Castle, the Robert Redford starrer about a court-martialed general who rallies 1,200 inmates to rise against the corrupt system that put him away.
The deals come as Tapper's book Hellfire Club, a 1950s-set political thriller about secret societies and communist witch hunts, is being shopped by UTA.