One of the films we lamented falling apart in our Ten Dead Projects We’d Like To See Resurrected feature was Oliver Stone‘s My Lai massacre pic “Pinkville.” Originally set to star Bruce Willis, Woody Harrelson, Channing Tatum, Michael Peña and Cam Gigandet, the 2007 writer’s strike put a huge snag into updates and touch-ups so United Artists shut down the production at almost the last minute. It was a picture that would’ve found Stone working with some very comfortable subject matter and the cast he had set to go was certainly enticing. Well, as it turns out, it may come back to life.
In the commentary track for “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” (yes, someone actually listened to it), Stone reveals that he and Shia LaBeouf discussed reteaming for another shot at “Pinkville,” with the actor taking a particular interest as his father was a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. Not coincidentally, one of the roles in the film is of Hugh Thompson, the pilot who stopped the massacre by placing his helicopter between the soliders and villagers.
Of course, this is all just conjecture at this point and might have just been a passing fancy between the director and actor, but last year Stone noted that the project was very much his and it could possibly come back at any time. “‘Pinkville’ is not dead. I own it. I could activate it again. I don’t know if the time is right now with the Iraq War still going on, but I love that project and it’s an important one. My Lai is a forgotten piece of history that’s crucial to remember. You never know, these things come alive.”
The project would need to start all over again, find financing, a cast, etc., etc., etc. It’s likely not a sure thing and probably not going to happen anytime soon, but if anything, it appears that Stone still has “Pinkville” percolating on his slate of potential gigs. And hey, with LaBeouf helping to resurrect John Hillcoat‘s “The Promised Land,” maybe he has the Midas touch to get Stone’s pic back on its feet too.