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Why 'Independence Day' director Roland Emmerich waited 20 years to shoot ‘Midway’
LONDON (Reuters) - Twenty years after first toying with the idea, German film director Roland Emmerich brings his World War II drama Midway to cinemas next month, focusing on the 1942 Battle of Midway.
Known for big-budget disaster movies filled with special effects like Independence Day and Godzilla, Emmerich long wanted to recount the giant air and sea battle in the Pacific during which U.S. forces defeated an attacking Japanese fleet.
The June 4-7 1942 clash, the subject of a 1976 film starring Charlton Heston and Henry Fonda, took place six months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which had catapulted the United States into the conflict.
But a new studio deal, financing and the 2001 release of romantic war drama Pearl Harbor put Emmerich's version project on hold, he told Reuters in an interview.
"I chose another war movie, I did The Patriot but it Midway never left my mind," the 63-year-old said referring to his 2000 film set during the American Revolutionary War. "All of a sudden Pearl Harbor was there so I had to wait."
Midway was rekindled several years ago when work on a script began.
The film focuses on real-life U.S. Navy bomber pilot Richard 'Dick' Best, played by British actor Ed Skrein, and Emmerich said he worked with the U.S. navy to make the movie, having to convince some officials about the production.
"I had to talk to the admiral who was running Pearl Harbor, all the different places there ... and he was very dismissive. He said 'this is one of these Hollywood movies (which) has a cheesy love story and uses our soldiers, to tell it'," he said.
"And I said, 'well, not really' ... I said, my movie is about Dick Best and ... from that moment, he was so supportive .. and he ended up even being an extra."
A special screening of Midway was held in Hawaii for U.S. Navy sailors at the base.
Despite the long wait, Emmerich said the upcoming release of the film, which also stars Woody Harrelson, Dennis Quaid and Nick Jonas, was timely.
"In the last three, four, five years, because of the whole refugee crisis, nationalism is on the rise again, and right wing parties are on the rise again and it's great to remind people that at one point nationalism led to World War II," he said.
BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea said on Sunday they will postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster a stalled peace push with North Korea, even as Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.
The drills, known as the Combined Flying Training Event, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea.
An opening ceremony will be held Monday on Hawaii island for a military exercise with China that will involve about 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers training alongside U.S. Army counterparts.
This comes after Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke on Veterans Day at Punchbowl cemetery about the "rules-based international order" that followed U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II, and China's attempts to usurp it.
Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"
It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.
But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.
A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.