'Thunder Run': Producer talks all-CG, 3-D Iraq war thriller with Gerard Butler, Matthew McConaughey, and Sam Worthington


Image Credit: Anita Bugge/WireImage.com

“In my day, we watched war movies in 2-D. We didn’t even have rocket-propelled grenades flying over our heads!”

This is what you’ll be telling the kids in the near future, once Thunder Run has taken the traditional war movie and turned it on its head. EW has confirmed that Gerard Butler, Matthew McConaughey, and Sam Worthington have all signed on to star in an entirely CG, 3-D adaptation of Pulitzer Prize winner David Zucchino’s novel Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad. Robert Port and Black Hawk Down scribe Ken Nolan co-wrote the script, with Simon West attached to direct.

“The idea is that we’re trying to create an event movie,” producer Brian Presley of Freedom Films tells EW. “We wanted to do something that was new, that was fresh, so we’re shooting it in a CG world where we do motion capture and facial capture. The reason we wanted to do it this way — just a pure, straight action film — is to also appeal to that Call of Duty: Black Ops world. It’s not going to have a video game look, it will have a photorealistic look, but the style in which we’re doing it with the 3-D RPGs flying over your head, and tanks coming out across the audience, and explosions… it’s going to be incredible.”

The film will recreate the three-day capture of Baghdad by American forces that jump-started the Iraq War in 2003. This has been an ongoing passion project for West and Presley, who have been working on the concept for five years. “One thing we’re really focused on is making sure we keep all of the authenticity of the military aspect; really being true to the story and to what actually happened, and representing the military in the right way,” Presley said.

To create the perfect look, The Graphic Film Company will use the proprietary facial-capture technology they developed for West’s upcoming Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3-D, as well as the motion-capture techniques used in Avatar. But the real appeal, according to Presley, lies in the heroic battle the actors will be recreating.

“You’ll be able to see Butler, McConaughey, and Worthington for two hours in a tank battle,” he said. “What you see is what you get.”

Comments (18 total) Add your comment
  • reel live

    Would like to see more info on how it works, as many of us would like to see the real men, and their bods and faces, not cg! Can someone explain to the low tech among us? LOL.

  • Anonymous

    Screw the American military. They’re just a bunch of paid killers yet we glorify them as if they were protecting us from the evil Iraqi army. To he’ll with them. We should be spitting in their faces instead of throwing them a ticker tape parade. Go to college morons!

    • Anonymous

      Hell, not he’ll. Darn auto correct. FU*K ACTIVE DUTY anyway!

    • fidgetwidget

      ^ Just took a look at your package and I’ve seen caterpillars with more to offer and your brain isn’t that much bigger, either. Guess that’s why you have to spout off about REAL men and women. Pooooor baaaaaaby….

    • john

      Screw you anonymous. Without the military we wouldn’t have the freedoms we do. F you.

  • jro

    Anonymous, your true name should be “Ignoramus”. Did some active duty member get the girl that you wanted or something? To disrespect the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform who have died so that you can say these idiotic things, well, it is just ignorant. “Go to college morons?” Really? Is that the best you can do? Because a large number of our armed forces are not only college educated, but educated as some of the best universities in the United States. I hope that when it comes time to make the choice to defend you and your words, that soldier steps aside. But, knowing how honorable our military members are….they will still defend your right to be an idiot.

  • jro


    • Anonymous

      I’m saying they’re not the big heroes everyone pretends they are. They get paid to kill people. And iraq has never threatened my right to free speech. Nor did the Vietnamese threaten our fathers or grandfathers, etc. So why don’t you glorify Columbian cartel enforcers. Same d*mn thing.

      • jro

        A major majority of the military does not “kill” people. I have been around the military my entire life, in it, married to it, work for it and have never met a person who has killed another person, nor is “paid” to kill other people. That is NOT our primary mission. You are entitled to your opinion and to state your opinion, I just wish it was a more informed opinion stated with a bit more respect.

      • Yvonne

        Why don’t you go over and live in Iraq and spit on their military. That is if you like being stoned to death where you stand! LOL!

      • Aaron Polsgrove

        The military folks I know don’t think they’re heroes, and they don’t pretend to be either. Most of the Iraq vets didn’t ask to be sent to Iraq, they signed up to serve their country, and their Commander-in-Chief sent them to Iraq.

  • louisvuittonoutlet

    Great article. I cant wait to hear more about your research tool. If it is as good as your other products, then you will have another winner. Your article pretty much summed up what I have been seeing too. Great to see some hard data.

  • SGT11B1P175

    I actually have live footage that I recorded during the invasion. Mainly from inside the Bradley, once we took highway 8 and the went through the highway interchanges. Our task force was at Objective Moe, furthest in the city.

    • Big Country

      Who is this , I was also on objective moe

      • SGT11B1P175

        Its your favorite M240B Gunner! *Not Bush”

      • JL

        Nice! I was 1/64 ARBN… we kinda just drove thru Larry Curly and Moe en route to Crossed Sabers road though… the 3/15 bradleys saved our @$$es though!

      • Natron210

        There’s my brothers, I was the 3/15 CO attached to 1/64AR…..I was a Bradley gunner and remember how it was I just hope the movie holds true to it!

  • Disability Law Attorneys

    We are a gaggle of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with valuable information to paintings on. You’ve performed an impressive task and our entire group might be grateful to you.

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