Deadline is reporting that Oscar-nominated actor Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Golden Globe nominee Stephan James (If Beale Street Could Talk) have signed on along with Tye Sheridan (Ready Player One), Bill Skarsgard (It), and Pete Davidson (The King of Staten Island) to star in Rupert Sanders’ upcoming Vietnam war film titled The Things They Carried. In addition, Moonlight star Ashton Sanders, Moises Arias (Monos), Angus Cloud (Euphoria), and Martin Sensmeier (The Magnificent Seven) have also joined the ensemble cast.
“Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried is his seminal masterwork – a raw, unflinching, and emotionally truthful literary experience filtered through a kaleidoscope of memory that’s impossible not to be profoundly moved by,” producers HSB’s Hardy and Dean Baker said in a statement. “We are all deeply passionate about and honoured to have the good fortune of working alongside Tim in bringing his vital classic to screen – and together with our incredible cast, Rupert, Scott, and David – we look forward to creating what we feel will be an important film.”
The Things They Carried will be based on Tim O’Brien’s acclaimed collection of Vietnam War stories which centers around a platoon of young soldiers and their experiences on the front lines. The film will be directed by Rupert Sanders from a screenplay adapted by Oscar nominee Scott B. Smith.
Its official book synopsis reads: “The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and of course, the character Tim O’Brien who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three. They battle the enemy (or maybe more the idea of the enemy), and occasionally each other. In their relationships we see their isolation and loneliness, their rage and fear. They miss their families, their girlfriends and buddies; they miss the lives they left back home. Yet they find sympathy and kindness for strangers (the old man who leads them unscathed through the mine field, the girl who grieves while she dances), and love for each other, because in Vietnam they are the only family they have. We hear the voices of the men and build images upon their dialogue. The way they tell stories about others, we hear them telling stories about themselves.”
First published in 1990, one of the book’s stories titled “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” was first adapted into a film in 1998 where it starred Kiefer Sutherland and Skeet Ulrich.
The film is produced by Tom Hardy and Dean Baker through their Hardy Son & Baker banner along with MJZ’s David Zander. It will also executive produced by Amy T. Y Hu of MJZ. Production is expected to begin early next year in Thailand.