Are Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis set to recreate some movie magic with another take on American history? It certainly seems like they got on like gangbusters during the production and promotion of “Lincoln,” with the movie netting yet another Oscar for the actor. While it’s all very early, it seems like they are kicking around an idea that would see them back at work together.
Deadline reveals that Steven Spielberg is eyeing an adaptation of David Finkel‘s forthcoming book “Thank You For Your Service” as a possible reteam with DDL, though the site cautions it’s “all early days.” The book was optioned in the spring by DreamWorks with Spielberg linked, though it was unclear at the time if he was going to produce or direct, but now it looks like he wants to be right behind the camera. Why? Three words: Jason Dean Hall. He’s the hot, rising screenwriter behind Spielberg’s next movie “American Sniper” with Bradley Cooper, and he’s now in early talks to adapt ‘Service.’
The book details the true life struggles of soldiers returning from service from Iraq and Afghanistan, and chronicles their struggle to adapt back into regular life as they battle PTSD and other disorders. Here’s the Amazon synopsis:
No journalist has reckoned with the psychology of war as intimately as David Finkel. In The Good Soldiers, Finkel shadowed the men of the US 2-16 Infantry Battalion in Baghdad as they carried out the grueling fifteen-month “surge” that changed them all forever. Now Finkel has followed many of the same men as they’ve returned home and struggled to reintegrate – into both their family lives and into society at large.
In the ironically titled Thank You for Your Service, Finkel writes with tremendous compassion not just about the soldiers but about their wives and children. Where do soldiers belong after their homecoming? Is it reasonable, or even possible, to expect them to rejoin their communities as if nothing has happened? And in moments of hardship, who can soldiers turn to if they feel alienated by the world they once lived in? These are the questions Finkel faces as he revisits the brave but shaken men of the 2-16.
More than a work of journalism, Thank You for Your Service is an act of understanding — shocking but always riveting, unflinching but deeply humane, it takes us inside the heads of those who must live the rest of their lives with the realities of war.
It sounds very similar to the territory that could be covered in “American Sniper,” and we’d wager that Spielberg may want to see how the script turns out before deciding to direct or even passing it to DDL, who notoriously rejected early drafts of “Lincoln.” Either way this is all still a long way off,with Spielberg putting his head down for ‘Sniper’ next and DDL cobbling shoes or doing whatever he does between movies before figuring out what his next move is. Nonetheless, an intriguing possibility and one to keep an eye on.