Relativity to Pick Up Navy SEAL Film ACT OF VALOR, Starring Cast of Active Duty SEALs [Updated with Set Photos]

     June 12, 2011


Not wanting to be left out of the sudden interest in Navy SEALs following the takedown and assassination of Osama Bin Laden by the elite special operations force, Relativity Media is close to acquiring the rights to a SEAL-centric flick called Act of Valor. Deadline reports that Relativity will pay a $13 million guarantee, with a $30 million P&A commitment to the flick, arguably the largest amount paid for a film featuring a cast made up entirely of unknowns. Scripted by Kurt Johnstad (300), the film was backed by the military and actually stars active duty Navy SEALs in the lead roles.

No word on the plot [Update: Relativity has sent out a press release providing a brief synopsis; check it out after the jump], or even if it involves the Bin Laden raid, but the film is described as “very patriotic” and “heavy on action.” Mike “Mouse” McCoy and Scott Waugh, from the media company The Bandito Brothers, directed Act of Valor, which has already completed production. Act of Valor is one of a few Navy SEAL-centric flicks currently in development, chief among them is director Kathryn Bigelow’s Kill Bin Laden. That film is expected to shoot this summer, with Columbia Pictures eying a late 2012 release. Act of Valor is slated for release either Veterans Day weekend this November or Presidents Day in February. [Update: We've updated this story with more information and set photos which you can check out after the jump.]

The Film Stage has dug up a wealth of new information as well as set photos for Act of Valor, and all of the sites mentioned below are via The Film Stage. reports that “a hybrid feature film based on the SEAL ethos that highlights both naval special warfare capability and fleet interaction.  There’s also the possibility of an IMAX release.

Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut (Terminator Salvation) announced on his website that one of the shots in the film involves following the lead Navy SEAL down a hallway that’s about to erupt in gunfire.  The production also devised a helmet rig for the production:

We set the helmet cam up with all the bells and whistles. When that rig moved into rooms, it was something that I had never seen before. It was intimate, visceral and smooth. I wanted this film to have a GAMER feel to it. That first person shooter perspective that has been so powerful in all the video games like Call of Duty. This felt like that but with real Navy SEAL’s on the gun. Zeiss helped me take this movie up 4 notches with this unique perspective. The 18mm did not bend too much and delivered sharp, realistic footage. We used this lens for all of our gun fights. When the SEALS would shoot people at night, you would see the laser coming from the barrel with shells flying out of the chamber; the gunsight and the bad guy that the SEAL was shooting in the heart. It was now done with cinematic quality. Not helmet cams where everything is in focus. This 5D helmet cam had a beautiful focus fall off. We could rack from the gunsight to the bad guy, or to the shells flying out to the bad guy. The possibilities were endless with the 5D’s shallow focus and the Zeiss ZF primes.

Here’s a photo of the rig that Hurlbut posted plus more set photos from The Tension:


Relativity has sent over a press release which includes the following brief plot synopsis:

Act of Valor follows a Navy SEAL squad on a covert mission to recover a kidnapped CIA agent, and in the process takes down a complex web of terrorist cells determined to strike America at all costs.  The filmmakers had unprecedented Naval access resulting in high-octane combat sequences and never-before-seen military operation scenes which are composited from actual events in the lives of the men appearing in the film and their comrades.

The film will co-star Roselyn Sanchez (Rush Hour 2) and Emilio Rivera (Traffic).

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  • Geoff

    If theyre active, shouldnt they be fighting a war? Are people paying taxes so that SEALs can star in a movie? Seems a little silly to me.

    • CQBOps

      Coudnt agree with you more froggy I worked with the Seal community for 5 years ( Seal Support ) when I was in the Navy. Let me set the record straight for you Geoff if you had any idea what Seal Team Operators go through you wouldnt be making that I dont have a %$#ing clue what i’m talking about statement. ( How come they are making a movie),,,really!! The sacrifices they make the training,,I worked 6 days a week 12 hours a day for 6months with these guys to get things up to speed. Everyday they came into work ready to go and to do what ever it took to get the job done.

      For them to get a little camera time to let you into their community to see what they do and how they do it,, you should be greatfull,, they are the quite prefessionals and dont brag about what they do and rarely let anyone outside of the community in to the circle. Talking about it is just not done. These warriors are true Hero’s not the professional atheletes that modern day America like to look to as an inspiration for are youth these guys are the real deal. So being pissed Geoff about these guys not being deployed overseas is a joke. If you’re so concearned about your freedom and taxes,,pick up a weapon and stand a post I did it and I damn sure know Froggy did. So next time unless you’re in the Special Forces Community or have worked along side them it’s best not to run your mouth about something you have no clue what you’re talking about. So i’m going to do you a favor if you like to read pick up Lone Survivor read the book get an understanding of the sacrifices made by not just the Seals but all of are Military members and just be thankfull.

      To all the shooters that have been and will be, God Speed

  • CrazyHick


    your an idiot

    • Geoff

      Well can you explain your reasoning? I’d be more than happy to have an intelligent discussion about it.

    • Northern Star

      I concur with CrazyHick, Geoff, that was bit on the silly side. Being active doesn’t mean they’re on duty 24/7 when shooting the movie, they most likely are doing it on down time. God bless you Navy SEAL guys, I’m not even American (unfortunately), and even I’M proud of you- first Saddam and his psycho sons, then Zarqawi, now bin Laden, how about that nut Ahmedinejad for an encore!

      • antonchigur

        Hate to tell you, friend-o, but if Active Duty Navy SEALs are working on an action film, then it’s pretty much their day job until shooting’s done.

        First, shooting a movie, especially an action film takes a lot more time than just after you get out of work Mon-Fri plus the weekends, it’s a full-time job. Add in the fact that, as Navy SEALs, they don’t exactly have the easiest job in the military, and all the training/work they do on the day-to-day, you can be assured there is no way to be doing both at the same time.

        Second, the military supports damn near anything with a pro-military slant. You ever watch Transformers 1 or 2? Where do you think they got all those extras? Both films shot sequences at both White Sands Missile Range & Holloman Air Force Base. Both films got permission (from the military) to use Airmen as extras & advisors. All those people prepping planes, getting into planes, all those planes taking off, all those shots of F-22′s flying around, soldiers/airmen scurrying around during scenes of chaos? All the scenes taking place at Qatar in the first movie? Yeah, those were real soldiers/airmen & they were given permission by their base commanders to do so, and it wasn’t all done on a Saturday when they were off work.

        Third, the military is always trying to look good. They’ve been taking a public opinion beating for the past couple of years & the retention rate is down, as is enlistments. They’ll look at this like an opportunity for some good advertising and an attempt to get some good PR out of it.

        Don’t be so naive to think the Navy isn’t thinking of this as something that can help them out, if there are active duty SEALs working on this, they’ve put their full support behind the project. And why wouldn’t they? What company isn’t trying to boost their image after losing the public opinion they used to have.

        Other prominent movies that the military supported fully: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Top Gun, Battle: Los Angeles, The Green Berets, etc.

      • Tarek

        Hate to tell you this Northern Star, by both Saddam and Bin Ladin were CIA agents before they “turn to evil”. ^^

        So it was just a “retirement” of disturbing double agents.

  • Geoff

    By the way, its spelled you’re, because it is supposed to be you are. Your is used to indicate something belonging to you, like your opinion.

  • Northern Star

    Soon to be promoted heavily by Fox News (and rightly so) whilst almost completely ignored by the lamestream media… USA, USA, USA!!!

  • shaunx

    boring ….boring ….boring ….boring ….

  • Jazzyjace

    BORING!!!!! My advice: Play Gears of War on Xbox or Battlefield. Even better, watch Arnie in Commando (Proof that you don’t need an “elite” squad of SEALS to take down a terrorist) when Arnie could do the job in less than 12 hrs, lol!

  • Matt

    The only Navy Seal film I want to see is the one directed by Peter Berg after Battleship.

  • Miles Bennett Dyson

    as long as they have the 90′s manufactured rock group “Godsmack” playing their catchy tunes as the soundtrack…

    when I go to the theaters I usually see the Army commercial and how one should join… and then the movie starts… hopefully no one gets confused on this one and wonders when the movie is going to start.

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  • Geoff

    It just seems like a piece of propaganda to me. Mr. Hurlbut is even comparing it to a video game.

    • Tarek

      Yes it is…

  • Northern Star

    Okay, let’s do this thing- firstly, hey Antonchigur, so what if it’s pro-military, the question is why aren’t you, they fight for YOUR freedom too, and the military has every right and reason to assist productions that portray them well, as opposed to the nasty propaganda that smears them as killers, get real dude!

    Hey Tarek, where’s your evidence that Saddam amd bin Laden were CIA operatives, other than in your deluded fantasy-world? The CIA gave money and weapons to the Pakistanis, not directly to bin Laden or the Mujahadeen, so you’re wrong there. And they sold weapons to Saddam to counter the radical Iranian regime across his border, but they NEVER sold him any WMDs nor did the CIA have any paid co-operation with Hussein, and THATS the truth, you need to stop watching Al-Jazeera or Press TV, it isn’t doing you any favours…

    • Tarek

      Alas it is not in my deluded dreams, but the truth. I know, some I understand your reaction Northern star. People aren’t always ready to see the truth. They need to preserve the idealistic image of their secret dream.

      Osama Bin Laden was “Tim Osman:, a CIA operative.

      I know Northern star, it hurts the first time…^^

  • Tarek

    THE ‘FOG OF COMBAT’: How White House changed its story
    There have been a number of discrepancies issued by the White House since Sunday’s raid.

    Press Secretary Jay Carney blamed the below differing stories on the ‘fog of combat.’

    THEN: Osama Bin Laden was armed with an AK-47 during the raid.
    NOW: The Al Qaeda leader was actually unarmed but did resist before he was shot.

    THEN: On Monday, the White House said Bin Laden was involved in a firefight, which is why the SEALs killed rather than captured him.
    NOW: On Tuesday, however, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Bin Laden did not fire on the SEALs.

    THEN: Counter-terrorism chief, John Brennan said a woman, thought to be one of bin Laden’s wives, was used as a human shield during the raid and was killed.
    NOW: Amal Al-Sadah, 27, bin Laden’s youngest wife, is thought to have rushed at the Navy SEALS and was shot in the leg but not killed. The woman who died was said to be the wife of one of his aides, caught in the cross fire.

    THEN: A White House transcript said it was bin Laden’s son Hamza who was killed in the raid.
    NOW: They then corrected that to another son Khalid.

    THEN: The night of the raid, administration officials held a telephone briefing for reporters. ‘During the raid, we lost one helicopter due to mechanical failure,’ one of the administration officials said.
    NOW: Later in the same call, another official contradicted that: ‘We didn’t say it was mechanical.’

    Read more:

    Wake up Neo. ^^

  • Northern Star

    I fail to see anything of substance in the link you provided that bin Laden was on the CIA payroll, it’s obvious even to a blind man riding on a horse that the agency knew who the money and weapons were being funnelled to, that was the whole point of the operation, but you have not shown anything that even implies bin Laden actually being a CIA operative, don’t you think the Democrats would’ve made political hay if they found out or knew bin Laden was paid DIRECTLY to act on CIA orders, which he was not, sorry dude, nice try though.

    And as far as your second post goes, you’ll get no defence from me on the utter incompetence and ineptitude of the Obama administration, but that’s all it is, unless you believe bin Laden wasn’t really killed, in which case, give my regards to Toto on the yellow brick road, you’re living in a fairytale- or watching that Al-Jazeera I warned you about, whatever dude…

    • Tarek

      No. I live in a nightmare dude, you are living a sweet pink fairytale dream.

      Call it incompetence if you want…It was the same “incompetence” that lead to the disaster in Iraq and its 150.000 dead.

      “According to information’s collected by Le Figaro, and Radio France International, Oussama Ben Laden met with an American CIA agent last July while he was being treated for a kidney ailment at the American Hospital of Dubai.”

      Read more:

      And if you have a moment:

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  • Northern Star

    Okay, let’s do this thing one more time-

    Firstly, Tarek, I wouldn’t call the liberation of 25 million people a “disaster”, and it’s actually more like 80, 000 dead in Iraq between 2003 and 2008 (official Iraqi government figures), with 15, 000 of those unidentified- which means they were likely foreign jihadists, you know, the ones ACTUALLY responsible for the vast majority of those deaths through suicide bombings and other ghastly acts (like torture chambers discovered in Fallujah after the U.S. liberated it in 2004).

    Lastly, interesting article that, unfortunate that it is COMPLETELY UNPROVEN, and with no verifiable evidence other than mere hearsay, do you really think the Democrats would have let it pass without comment if they even suspected bin Laden met with the CIA two months before 9/11!? When he was killed in Pakistan, was there any kidney dialysis equipment found in his quarters, or related medication? You sound like a nice guy, Tarek, but don’t believe everything you read that confirms your stereotypes, check out a number of reputable sources, do your own research, and form your opinions based on the facts, not conspiracy theories and crackpot commentaries…

  • Tarek

    “I wouldn’t call the liberation of 25 million people a “disaster”

    You call that a Liberation ? We are not watching the same show dude. ^^

  • Tarek

    CIA unit’s wacky idea: Depict Saddam as gay
    By Jeff Stein

    “During planning for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group kicked around a number of ideas for discrediting Saddam Hussein in the eyes of his people.
    “The agency actually did make a video purporting to show Osama bin Laden and his cronies sitting around a campfire swigging bottles of liquor and savoring their conquests with boys, one of the former CIA officers recalled, chuckling at the memory. The actors were drawn from “some of us darker-skinned employees,” he said.”

    So, you still believe that the guys in the US government are saints ? ^^

    Wich I was naive like you Northern…

  • Northern Star

    You keep shifting the focus of your arguments, Tarek, you accused the CIA of employing Saddam and bin Laden, and when pressed, failed to present any VERIFIABLE evidence, so you shift away to another angle entirely.

    I never said the CIA was populated by ‘saints’, in fact, the nature of the espionage and intelligence field probably necessitates a certain ruthlessness, including in psychological warfare tactics, but the U.S. didn’t need to portray Saddam as a villain, everyone who wasn’t a Sunni in Iraq was brutalised by him, and the whole region was glad to see the back of him.

    And as far as bin Laden goes, once again, no propaganda was necessary, as he had a PORN STASH, not to mention a MARIJUANA patch in his compound in Pakistan. Would love to talk more to you, Tarek, but all good things must come to an end, take it easy dude…

  • Froggy

    First of all, nobody cares about your (as in you possess them) pathetic leftist conspiracy theories so give that a rest. I have seen the film at the BB facility in Culver City. I am a Navy SEAL Reservist and my friend was one of the “stars” of the film and he invited me to his family’s screening. The film was commissioned by NSW (Naval Special Warfare, ie the military entity that is in charge of the SEAL Teams) as a recruiting vehicle.

    This is not propaganda and I will tell you why. It quite vividly shows the considerable costs borne by SEALs and their families up to and including gruesome wounding and the death of some of the SEALs in the film. This is in no way showing the community to be a benign or risk free job and the violence is not glorified or even cheered by the participants, it is ruthlessly administered to the intended recipients. The film quite accurately portrays the considerable danger of the profession, and also gives a very realistic insight into the mindset of Navy SEALs. This is something that cannot be accomplished by an actor or a film maker without the serious participation of the guys behind the guns.

    The action scenes are an order of magnitude greater than what you expect out of a modern Hollywood film. Much of it was performed using live ammunition delivered on target by real SEALs. Trust me, you will notice the difference. The entire spectrum of NSW weapons systems is put to use by the platoon in this film, and I have to tell you that I was extraordinarily impressed by the breadth and scope of that. I have personally done everything in the film and yet seeing it from the perspective of the BB cameras was incredible… to me. To you, it will be mind blowing.

    The acting is up and down, but the film does not rely very much on the strength of a character or two, but rather THE character of the men and the gravity of their mission. Those elements easily supply tension and drama in spades. That said, my buddy who played the interrogator was awesome and I think he could make a go of acting if he wanted to.

    So there you have it.

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