Con Air and Expendables 2 director Simon West is going to follow in the footsteps of Robert Zemeckis by trying his hand at making motion-capture fare for a while – including, Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3D (which West will produce) and the Iraq war thriller Thunder Run, featuring West at the helm.

Brian Presley’s Freedom Films and Fred Malmburg’s Paradox Entertainment will co-finance the latter project, which is slated to begin production this summer – with a cast headed by Gerard Butler, Sam Worthington and Matthew McConaughey.

Scroll on down for an official description of Thunder Run.

“Thunder Run,” is an all CG 3-D action thriller based on the non-fiction book “Thunder Run – The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent David Zucchino.   Adapting the story for the screen are Academy Award-winner Robert Port and Ken Nolan, screenwriter of “Black Hawk Down.”

“Thunder Run” is the untold story of the dangerous and bloody capture of Baghdad by American Forces at the onset of the Iraq War.   In April 2003, three battalions and fewer than a thousand men launched a violent thrust of tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles into the heart of a city of five million, igniting a three-day blitzkrieg, which military professionals often refer to as a lightning strike, or “thunder run.” In telling the story of the surprise assault on Baghdad–one of the most decisive battles in recent American combat history–this movie paints the harrowing picture of the soldiers on the front lines and the realities of modern warfare.

When news first began circulating about the triumvirate of Butler, Worthington and McConaughey being attached to Thunder Run, Presley informed Heat Vision that “what we capture in our cameras will be them. It’ll have a stylized effect to it but we are shooting them… it’ll be them for two hours in a highly intense tank battle.” Similarly, the stated goal with Thunder Run is (according to Presley) to “appeal to the ‘Call of Duty’ world” without creating a movie that feels like little more than a glorified collection of video game cutscenes (Think Act of Valor with CGI imagery.)

Butler and McConaughey both have distinct voices and accents, which makes them a good fit for voiceover work; similarly, Worthington’s best performance to date is arguably his mo-cap work in Avatar, which also bodes well for Thunder Run. [Insert obvious joke about all three actors doing best when you cannot see their faces.] Likewise, the writers and director behind the film suggest Thunder Run could make for a viscerally-engaging viewing experience, that looks quite different than your average combat thriller.

As mentioned before, Thunder Run begins production this summer. We will let you know when the movie snags an official release date.

Source: Freedom Films/Paradox Entertainment, THR

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