Brad Pitt remains as bankable a commodity as ever (see the early box office returns for his latest starring effort, Moneyball, for proof of that) and Warner Bros. is looking to recruit the A-lister for one of two upcoming army-oriented projects: the Japanese comic book adaptation, All You Need is Kill, and the real-life rescue operation thriller, The Mission.
All You Need is Kill has Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Fair Game) attached to direct, but has been on hold for a while now - since Liman has been pushing ahead with his $100 million sci-fi heist flick, Luna. Now that Skydance is no longer co-financing the latter project, Warner Bros. instead wants to get production on Liman's manga-based film started next.
Vulture says that Warner Bros. heads have offered the lead role in All You Need is Kill to Pitt. However, the site is also reporting that the studio wants Pitt for The Mission - which looks increasingly likely to become director David O. Russell's followup to The Silver Linings Playbook.
Dante Harper (Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters) worked on the script for All You Need is Kill, which revolves around a soldier who is killed during the first day of an alien invasion of Earth - and, subsequently, the officer is continually resurrected to the day before his death. Think a film that combines plot elements from Groundhog Day and Source Code - along with the Halo video games series - and you have a good idea of what this project has to offer.
The Mission, by comparison, tells the true story about the efforts of the U.S. army to rescue three Americans taken hostage in 2003 by Colombian guerilla organization FARC. Numerous government, diplomatic, and intelligence service agents - both American and Colombian - eventually became involved in the undertaking, dubbed Operation Jaque. Their efforts finally paid off in 2008, when 15 individuals (including the three Americans and former Columbian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt) were rescued from a FARC internment camp.
Former New York Times contributing journalist Peter Landesman is scripting The Mission.
Pitt is already up to appear in several titles that mix action with character-oriented drama in the near future - including Cogan's Trade, World War Z, and The Gray Man - so both All You Need is Kill and The Mission read as being projects right up his alley. The latter sounds more like potential Oscar bait than the former, but that doesn't mean Pitt won't ultimately decide to reunite with his Mr. and Mrs. Smith helmer (Liman) on the futuristic comic book flick.
The Mission could make for some solid dramatic entertainment in Russell's hands - especially for those who enjoyed his previous war movie, Three Kings - while Liman's All You Need is Kill would presumably be somewhat more of a mainstream popcorn thriller. So, assuming that Pitt signs on for at least one of these projects, Warner Bros. looks to do all right by itself.
We will keep you updated on the status of both All You Need is Kill and The Mission as more information is released.