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Tom Hanks Is Teaming Up With Vet Filmmaker Dale Dye To Make A Veteran-Powered WWII Drama
Tom Hanks has signed on to both act in and executive-produce No Better Place To Die, an upcoming World War II drama about the airborne Normandy landings on D-Day, written and directed by Marine vet and seasoned technical adviser Dale Dye.
The news of Hanks’ addition is good for U.S. military veterans, and not just for World War II film buffs: Dye is looking to cast up 50 veterans as actors, including as many as 35 speaking roles, with department heads giving vets priority for support positions on set.
“When I say department heads, I’m talking about set design, costumes, props, armory, hair and makeup, and all the other support elements that will engineer making a movie,” Dye told Task & Purpose. “I’m going to tell all those department heads that veterans get priority, so folks who want to be technicians in the film industry.”
“I’m going to try to get them their shot on this film, also,” he added. ”I’m trying to help guys who really want to do this for a living.”
The movie, written and directed by Dye, follows a band of airborne soldiers scattered across Normandy during their drop ahead of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. A mishmash of troops from different units, they folded into a single rifle company to seize and hold La Fière bridge, a crucial causeway which connected the French countryside with the Normandy beachheads, against German reinforcements headed for Omaha and Utah beach. Had that company not held, the beach landings might have been a catastrophic failure.
“What I discovered, writ large, was that this was an example of what happens in our military when all the big plans, laid by all the generals and colonels, become victims of the exigency of war, that is, when they go right in the crapper,” Dye told Task & Purpose. “It’s the sergeants and the young lieutenants, and the PFCs and the corporals, who cobble together, knowing what has to be done, and just go out there and do it against all odds.”
Dye wrote the script in 2011, but has struggled to find backers for the film, until now. In addition to signing Hanks to produce and act, Creative Artists Agency and Gersh, are arranging financing for the film. (No Better Place To Die should not be confused with Hanks' other WWII film venture, Greyhound, which is looking to cast vets as extras.)
“The Hollywood procedure for putting a film together, especially an expensive film — and we’re a $30 million picture, that’s a lot like herding cats or trying to get snakes to follow a straight path — it’s a very difficult extended process,” Dye said. “But we’re right in the middle of it and gaining a lot of traction.”
Though casting hasn’t started yet, Dye hopes to begin filming this summer, with the goal of a 2019 release date, to coincide with the 75th anniversary of D-Day. In total, Dye said he hopes to get 40 to 50 veterans in front of the camera, of which, 28 and 35 will be speaking roles. “Once I’m certain that we have the money we need, and we have the main actors that we need …. then we can start the process of auditioning the real veterans for the rest of the roles,” Dye said.
A decorated Marine combat veteran and a three-time Purple Heart recipient, whose career included tours in Vietnam as an infantryman and a combat correspondent, Dye retired from the Marines 1984. And in the years that followed he’s leveraged that experience as a military technical adviser through his company Warriors Inc., bringing authenticity and emotional realism to the projects he’s worked on, which include Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, and Platoon, among others.
In terms of realism, getting all the little details right — how to hold a weapon, wear a uniform, or knowing what ribbons go on what side of your service jacket — is important, sure, but it’s “ultimately superficial” Dye said.
While it differs by era, theater, or unit, there’s a way of carrying oneself, of talking, and behaving — an attitude among service members that’s timeless and universal. And that’s what makes the difference between a technically accurate war movie, and a realistic one — or, better yet, a relatable one.
“When I was first motivated to even start as a military adviser to movies and television, that’s part of what I was trying to do, to bring that understanding, that empathy, that intimate knowledge, to actors, who for the most part, especially these days, had absolutely no experience with it,” Dye told Task & Purpose. “I felt if I could do that, if I could make them walk a mile in our boots … their portrayals of who we are, what we are, how we act, how we relate to each other, how we think, how we feel, those things would come across.”
In addition to surrounding the film’s actors with scores of veterans, Dye said he plans to put stars through his standard training regimen: a three week boot camp in austere conditions meant to recreate the setting and environment the service members’ portrayed in the film had to endure
“We’ll do my standard evolution that I do for every film that I work on,” Dye said. “But I’m hoping that in addition to that, that we’ll have a process of osmosis that’s going on the whole time, where you get these real veterans next to the actors, and they can observe now, what they’ve been told, and what they’ve been forced to do in training.”
“They’ll see the reality of it, how these people think, how these people feel, how they talk and how they relate to one another,” he added. “I’m hoping for a big dose of osmosis in that regard.”
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.