Skip to comments.Bruce Willis comes out fighting for Iraq's forgotten GI heroes
Posted on 11/27/2005 9:27:04 AM PST by Khankrumthebulgar
ANGERED by negative portrayals of the conflict in Iraq, Bruce Willis, the Hollywood star, is to make a pro-war film in which American soldiers will be depicted as brave fighters for freedom and democracy.
It will be based on the exploits of the heavily decorated members of Deuce Four, the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry, which has spent the past year battling insurgents in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul.
Willis attended Deuce Four’s homecoming ball this month in Seattle, Washington, where the soldiers are on leave, along with Stephen Eads, the producer of Armageddon and The Sixth Sense.
The 50-year-old actor said that he was in talks about a film of “these guys who do what they are asked to for very little money to defend and fight for what they consider to be freedom”.
Unlike many Hollywood stars Willis supports the war and recently offered a $1m (about £583,000) bounty for the capture of any of Al-Qaeda’s most wanted leaders such as Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri or Abu Musab al- Zarqawi, its commander in Iraq. Willis visited the war zone with his rock and blues band, the Accelerators, in 2003.
“I am baffled to understand why the things I saw happening in Iraq are not being reported,” he told MSNBC, the American news channel.
He is expected to base the film on the writings of the independent blogger Michael Yon, a former special forces green beret who was embedded with Deuce Four and sent regular dispatches about their heroics.
Yon was at the soldiers’ ball with Willis, who got to know him through his internet war reports on www.michaelyon.blogspot.com. “What he is doing is something the American media and maybe the world media isn’t doing,” the actor said, “and that’s telling the truth about what’s happening in the war in Iraq.”
Willis is likely to take on the role of the unit’s commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Erik Kurilla, 39, a Bruce Willis lookalike with a chest full of medals, more hair than Willis and a glamorous blonde wife.
He was injured in August after being shot three times by insurgents “in front of my eyes”, Yon recorded in his blog: “He continued to direct his men until a medic gave him morphine and the men took him away.”
Kurilla now has a titanium plate in his leg. He met Willis at the ball and said that his men were “very excited and appreciative that he was there”. ”
Deuce Four has a chequered history. For decades it was a segregated black unit commanded by a white officer. It was disbanded in 1951 but veterans felt hurt that its past was considered to be a stain on the army and it was revived in the mid-1990s.
When the battalion arrived in Mosul in November last year the city was under threat from insurgents. “We faced very heavy fighting for about three months,” Kurilla recalled. “Every patrol was making contact with enemy forces. We would hit them where they slept, where they worked and where they ate.”
Today the picture was very different, he said. “I have watched a city that was in absolute chaos turn into one that has a viable Iraqi security force, which is taking the lead in fighting the terrorists.”
Yon, 41, went to Iraq after a friend from high school, Scott Helveston, a former navy Seal, was hanged from a bridge in Falluja in an incident that shocked the world. Yon had never blogged before but was the author of Danger Close, a book about his experience as a green beret when he killed a man in a bar-room brawl. He was charged with murder and acquitted on the grounds of self-defence.
“When I landed in Baghdad I was immediately struck by how much of a war zone it was,” Yon said. “Explosions were going off constantly. It was full-on.”
His first experience of Mosul was worse: “I got attacked on my first mission. One of our vehicles got hit with a car bomb and three guys were killed.”
In May, Yon took a photograph of a soldier from the Deuce Four cradling a little Iraqi girl who had been fatally wounded by a suicide bomber. He sensed that the inhabitants of Mosul were turning against the insurgents. “People began to realise that all the insurgents ever did was break things and kill people,” he said. “It started to switch from a firefight to an intelligence war. People started to talk more to us. They would pull us over and give us tips.”
The Iraqi security forces began to take pride in their work, Yon added: “These guys were getting slaughtered but they continued to volunteer and fight. It’s very dangerous now to be a terrorist in Mosul. They’re still out there but it’s not like it was.”
Willis said it would be wrong for Americans to give up on Iraq just as progress is being made. “The Iraqi people want to live in a world where they can move from their homes to the market and not have to fear being killed,” he said. “I mean, doesn’t everybody want that?”
Bruce will be shunned by the Hollywood elites.
He'll have a hard time finding work unless he produces it himself.
Anyhow, GO BRUCE!
The "Lion King" for me.
Another PING for you!
He just made my top 10 list of real people in America. I can only hope that others will have his fortitude.
I don't know what Bruce's political views are but I applaud him for making this movie. If the movie tells the REAL story of our troops in Iraq, I WILL go to see it. Thank you Bruce Willis.
This movie has all the elements that made "Passion of the Christ" so successful for Mel Gibson. The majority of Americans are at odds with Hollywood when it comes to politics, the Iraq war, and religion. Hollywood refuses to give us what we want - a patriotic war movie with a Rambo-like hero and a pro-America theme. If Bruce Willis produces a good movie, I expect ticket sales to rival Gibson's "Passion".
I hope he just goes ahead and makes it, regardless. But I wouldn't be surprised that, if he does have the courage to do it, other more timid Hollywood types might actually be emboldened to come out and support him. There have got to be some others who aren't totally left-wing bonkers, and maybe he'll encouarge them.
LOL! Love it...
Hollywood is a slowly sinking ship anyway. Technology prices have come down to the point where you don't need a huge budget and the backing of a Hollywood studio to make a *really* good film.
Brave Bruce Bump.
It was Shane for me!
Bookmark for later
Bruce Willis is the real deal. He is one of us.
He has visited the troops and even put a million of his own $ up for OBL or Z's head.
oh, yes. you hit it.....Americans will make this a blockbuster to rival The Passion. hollyweird is clueless.
LOL! Jessica Lange, Michael Moore, Barbra Streisand, WHoppi Goldberg, and Meryl Streep must be livid!! Pierce Brosnan just fainted!
Good for Bruce!!! I heard that Mel Gibson was also angry with the elites for undermining our troops!
Bruce Willis is one of the few bastions of conservatism in Hollywood. Charlton Heston, Clint Eastwood, Bo Derek, Tony Danza to name just a few. God Bless his endeavor and our troops.
I can't wait for the Mikey Moooron rebuttal film.....
Maybe Willis and Gibson could collaborate on something.
What a team that would make!
I agree, Mrs. Patriot and I never go to movies but did for Gibson's "Passion" and "We Were Soldiers", bought the DVD's too.
Willis has been around long enough that he will still get in good movies. Maybe not huge money makers, but he will always be one of the go to guys for people like Rodriguez and Tarantino who like to make movies for guys who like movies.
He must be the only conservative out there.
He's one rare case where money overruled Hollywood liberalism.
An excellent point, his career and reputation as a consistent moneymaker are already well established. Same goes for folks like Mel Gibson. But for a newcomer to the industry to espouse conservative ideals would be a career ender for sure.
They are comical, when they arent undermining our country or troops.
Bruce willis as a hero is much more believable than Leonadro Decrapio and his ilk.
Bruce can consider me a lifetime customer.
There are a few of them left: Robin Williams, Drew Carey, Dana Carvey....9/11 changed a lot of them, but like most conservatives, they are just another part of the silent majority.
I see the opposite happening,
the movie being a hit and Bruce being a hero.
One thing I noticed the last few days in Christmas adverts for video games are the number that are pro soldier and pro military.
Like at least the game makers 'get it'. Just like the some authors I know.... People want heros, they want the good guys to win and they know that life requires sacrifice.
Hollywood is just clueless....clueless....clueless.....
It worked very well for Mel Gibson.
Two gorgeous men.
Thanks a bunch! (OK, so I'm shallow).
If Bruce Willis produces a good movie
I've never seen him in a bad movie. I have to have my Willis fix about 6, 7 times a year at the minimum.
Hollywood needs a conservative "Branson" to start up and give them some real competition.
Imagine pro-American, pro-family films stealing away all the box office.
Military games have to make huge amounts of money. There have to be at least 50 Tom Clancy games out there. I think part of the reason is these games are squad based and with things like X Box live they are a lot more fun to play. You don't even have to actually see your friends to play with them now.
I may have all of you beat. The wife & I haven't been to a theater since 'Dances With Wolves' in 1990. Why give these airheads in Hollywood my hard earned cash?
Today we watch selectively on TV and I buy/copy old movies (mostly Westerns) onto DVD. We don't need today's garbage.
I don't see him playing LTC Kurilla - I think he'd be great as CSM Prosser though.
(click the picture for the full size version)
Tell me that's not a Bruce Willis character standing there over a defeated terrorist.