Horses are in, apparently. Steven Spielberg’s War Horse hits theaters later this month, and now comes word that producer Jerry Bruckheimer is shopping a movie package for an adaptation of Doug Stanton’s war tale Horse Soldiers. The true story takes place during the Afghanistan War and centers on 12 elite special forces soldiers and CIA operatives who secretly invaded Afghanistan after 9/11. The operatives aided the Afghan fighters in capturing the city of Mazar-i-Sharif and toppling the Taliban. Oh, and they arrived on horses, hence the title.
Deadline reports that Ted Tally (The Silence of the Lambs) wrote the initial script, which was subsequently rewritten by Peter Craig (The Town). Nicolai Fuglsig is onboard to direct, in what could be his feature film debut. The renowned commercials direct is also attached to direct the thriller Brass Monkey, as well as a futuristic take on Robin Hood. Bruckheimer has been out this week pitching the project to studios, so we should find out where it lands relatively soon. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the book.
From the New York Times bestselling author of In Harm’s Way comes a true-life story of American soldiers overcoming great odds to achieve a stunning military victory.
Horse Soldiers is the dramatic account of a small band of Special Forces soldiers who secretly entered Afghanistan following 9/11 and rode to war on horses against the Taliban. Outnumbered forty to one, they pursued the enemy army across the mountainous Afghanistan terrain and, after a series of intense battles, captured the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, which was strategically essential to defeat their opponent throughout the country.
The bone-weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators as they rode into the city, and the streets thronged with Afghans overjoyed that the Taliban regime had been overthrown.
Then the action took a wholly unexpected turn. During a surrender of six hundred Taliban troops, the Horse Soldiers were ambushed by the would-be POWs. Dangerously overpowered, they fought for their lives in the city’s immense fortress, Qala-i-Janghi, or the House of War. At risk were the military gains of the entire campaign: if the soldiers perished or were captured, the entire effort to outmaneuver the Taliban was likely doomed.
Deeply researched and beautifully written, Stanton’s account of the Americans’ quest to liberate an oppressed people touches the mythic. The soldiers on horses combined ancient strategies of cavalry warfare with twenty-first-century aerial bombardment technology to perform a seemingly impossible feat. Moreover, their careful effort to win the hearts of local townspeople proved a valuable lesson for America’s ongoing efforts in Afghanistan. [Amazon]