How 'The Outpost' tells the true story of a handful of American soldiers heroically fighting back hundreds of Taliban

Author:
Publish date:

On Oct. 3, 2009, a handful of American soldiers at Combat Outpost Keating, a remote and highly exposed base in eastern Afghanistan, repelled a massive attack from more than 300 Taliban fighters.

In the wake of what would later be called the Battle of Kamdesh, the outpost still stood, but the desperate defense came at a terrible price: eight Americans were killed, and 27 were wounded.

As many as 150 enemy fighters were killed.

Overnight, Bravo Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment became one of the most decorated units of the war in Afghanistan. The fighting resulted in two Medals of Honor, as well as 27 Purple Hearts, 37 Army Commendation Medals and 18 Bronze Stars for valor, and nine Silver Stars, according to Military.com.

The Outpost, an upcoming film based on CNN anchor Jake Tapper’s best-selling book of the same name, aims to tell that story. 

"It should be a day that every American knows," The Outpost's director, Rod Lurie, says in a new behind-the-scenes trailer. "It should be part of American history."

"The story of The Outpost is important because it actually happened. American service members were placed in the worst tactical position possible," Ty Carter, who along with Clint Romesha received the Medal of Honor for their actions that day, says in the promo. 

The new trailer from Millennium Media lays out how the film intends to tell the story of one of the most desperate battles of America's recent wars: First, by having veterans on and off the set.

"I needed veterans in this film," Lurie says in the clip. "I needed veterans to play the soldiers."

"It was like walking into a memory, you know?" Henry Hughes, an Army veteran and co-producer of The Outpost said in the trailer.

Based on the trailer it certainly appears to be a military-heavy film, with Carter, Hughes, and numerous other vets on hand as producers, advisers, and even in front of the camera playing themselves.

The Outpost also has a few high-profile actors, with Orlando Bloom as 1st Lt Benjamin Keating, and Scott Eastwood as Romesha, and Caleb Landry Jones as Carter.

For the decisive battle, many of the scenes will be shot in single takes as a way to maintain the frenetic pacing.

"I decided to do something risky in this film, and that was that I was going to try to shoot as many scenes as possible — especially in the battle — in one shot," Lurie said in the trailer.

If you've seen Sam Mendes' recent WWI drama, 1917, you're familiar with the effect this can have when done right: You never lose sight of the action, and those caught in the middle of it.

The Outpost will have its world premiere this March at this year's South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas.