Michael Bay is still planning on making a Benghazi movie, and it appears that things are picking up as the first castmember has been found. Variety reports that John Krasinski is in talks to take on one of the lead roles in the Paramount Pictures film, which recounts the 2012 attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya, revolving around the six-man security team that fought to defend it. It is, quite simply, the most serious subject matter that Bay has tackled in his career, and marks quite the shift from the Transformers franchise. More after the jump.
Variety reports that Krasinski will be playing a Navy SEAL in the film, but THR says he’ll be playing the lead role of security operator Jack Silva, which is a pseudonym used in Mitchell Zuckoff’s book of the same name. THR says the film is a two-hander and that Chris Pratt was initially eyed for the part, and Variety says several actors have been reading for roles in the film including Woody Harrelson, J.K. Simmons, Walton Goggins, and Shea Whigham. Thus far, Krasinski is the only one in negotiations, as he apparently blew Bay away during his reading.
Paramount was no doubt hoping Bay would next return to direct Transformers 5 (believe it or not, there are four of these movies already), but it appears that his interest lies elsewhere. He kind of returned to his roots with 2013’s Pain and Gain, but that “dark comedy” actually didn’t differ too much from his franchise fare, as it retained the teenage boy, semi-offensive sense of humor and flashy visuals; he pretty much just toned down the explosions.
With 13 Hours, one imagines Bay will be leaving that kind of humor at the door, and I’m curious to see how he handles serious subject matter like this while also putting together set pieces. Is Bay able to make a restrained dramatic action-thriller, or will he feel the need to add more explosions and action sequences to beef things up? Time will tell, but it sounds like 13 Hours is moving full-steam ahead to begin production sometime this year.
Krasinski is a swell talent and while the sometimes-comedic actor taking on a military-esque role like this brings to mind Pratt transforming himself for Zero Dark Thirty, the Office actor was previously a finalist for the role of Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger, so he’s no doubt prepared for the challenges ahead. He most recently finished filming his second directorial effort, the ensemble The Hollers, and will be seen in Cameron Crowe’s untitled next film.