Deadline is exclusively reporting that Tye Sheridan, Tom Hardy, Stephan James, Bill Skarsgard, Pete Davidson, Ashton Sanders, Martin Sensmeier, Moises Arias and Angus Cloud have signed up to star in Vietnam War film The Things They Carried.
This will be a film adaptation of one of Tim O’Brien’s acclaimed collection of stories about the young men of Alpha Company, a platoon of soldiers sent to fight on the ground during the Vietnam War. Trekking from village to village amidst chaos and confusion, the young men struggle to navigate a growing labyrinth of physical, mental and emotional terrains as they battle for the survival of their sanity, innocence and each other.
The novel won the 1990 National Book Critics Circle Award and was also named as New York Times Book of the Century. O’Brien even put his own experiences as serving in Vietnam in the late 60’s in the 23rd Infantry Division.
Rupert Sanders has been attached to direct the project, which hails from Tom Hardy’s production company Hardy Son & Son and MJZ, with David Zander, who acquired the film rights and has been developing the project for a number of years, serving as producer alongside Tom Hardy, Dean Baker and Amy T. Hu. The screenplay is being written by Scott B. Smith.
Tom Hardy and Dean Baker released a joint statement saying:
Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried is his seminal masterwork – a raw, unflinching, and emotionally truthful literary experience filtered through a kaleidoscope of memory that’s impossible not to be profoundly moved by. We are all deeply passionate about and honoured to have the good fortune of working alongside Tim in bringing his vital classic to screen – and together with our incredible cast, Rupert, Scott, and David – we look forward to creating what we feel will be an important film.
Rupert Sanders released a statement saying:
The Things They Carried is a beautifully crafted work and one of the most viscerally evocative books I have ever read. For me, it transcends its subject of young men at war and explores the landscape of deep human emotions that reside within all of us. We live in such turbulent times, and the themes of love, fear, and mortality that Tim explored thirty years ago still resonate today, maybe even more powerfully. I am so excited about the cast we have put together – we have not seen this many young stars from different backgrounds sharing the screen since the days of Platoon or The Outsiders.
David Zander released a statement saying:
Things They Carried is a timeless tale about the human heart. It’s about fear and courage and friendship. It’s about growing up, about holding oneself together in the face of terrible events…or not holding oneself together at all. It’s about death. And how to live on in the aftermath of death. It’s about the weight of the things we all carry. Taught to an entire generation of American high school and university students, The Things They Carried has attained its stature precisely because it’s about so much more than the war — in the same way that To Kill A Mockingbird is about so much more than life in the Jim Crow South, or The Great Gatsby is about so much more than the Roaring Twenties. The handful of books that become rites of passage in the American educational system are chosen because they speak to universal questions, and The Things They Carried stands shoulder to shoulder with them. I am so thankful to Tim for entrusting me to bring this important work to the screen.
MadRiver will be handling worldwide sales at the upcoming virtual American Film Market, with CAA Media Finance arranging financing on the project as well as co-repping the North American sales.