In a case of truly terrible timing, Collider can confirm there’s a Green Book reunion on the horizon, as Viggo Mortensen is in negotiations for a key supporting role in director Peter Farrelly‘s next film, which is being referred to as The Greatest Beer Run Ever.
No, this isn’t some stupid new Farrelly brothers comedy. This Skydance project was already announced, and the story is actually pretty cool. It tells the true story of John “Chickie” Donohue, who traveled from New York to Vietnam in 1967 just to share a few beers with his childhood buddies, who were fighting in the Army overseas.
I have no clue who Mortensen is playing, but obviously, he won’t be one of the buddies. I can see him playing their commanding officer, or perhaps Chickie’s father, but he could also be someone who simply helps the young man find his friends. Heck, maybe he’s playing the head of a beer company who likes Chickie’s idea and wants to donate for a good cause?
The film — which remains untitled according to Variety’s scoop — is based on the book The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A True Story of Friendship Stronger Than War, which Donohue co-wrote with Joanna Molloy. Farrelly co-wrote the script with Brian Currie and Pete Jones, and Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger will produce with Andrew Muscato. Skydance’s Aimee Rivera will oversee the project alongside Goldberg and Granger.
Now, I know I took a shot at Green Book above, and I did so only because of the timing of this announcement in relation to what is currently happening in this country. The fact is, there are still a lot of people who are pissed that Green Book won Best Picture, and I understand why that is, though I have personally loved the film, and Mahershala Ali‘s dignified, Oscar-winning performance especially. I just rewatched it a few months ago and it totally held up, and nothing anyone says about it will get me to change my mind — though everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion, just as I’m entitled to mine.
While critics may have been mixed, Green Book was a huge box office success, taking in more than $300 million worldwide on a reported production budget of just $23 million, so clearly it struck a chord with audiences. And regardless of how you feel about the film’s accuracy, I think it offers a message of racial harmony that we can all get behind, especially right now, when we need to come together as a country rather than fracture apart.
There’s no doubt that racial politics will be hard to ignore in a Vietnam War movie, so it’ll be interesting to see whether Farrelly uses The Greatest Beer Run Ever to address some of the criticisms lobbed at Green Book — not that he has the responsibility to, mind you, just that he may, and I stress may, have a unique opportunity to do so here. Still, Beer Run shouldn’t have to pay for Green Book‘s perceived sins, and i hope it’ll be judged on its own merits.
Green Book brought Mortensen his third Oscar nomination for Best Actor, and the well-respected actor recently made his directorial debut with the Sundance drama Falling, which pairs him with veteran character actor Lance Henriksen. Click here to watch our Falling interview with Mortensen at Sundance.