View Full Version : Is it too soon: Oliver Stone to make movie about 9/11

07-10-2005, 01:04 PM
Is it too soon to be making a big screen film about this tragedy? People are still mourning the victims, and the war on terror is still raging. Bin Laden is still at large.


July 08, 2005 - Paramount Pictures has announced that Oscar winners Oliver Stone and Nicolas Cage are teaming up to make a film about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The untitled project will focus on the rescue of Port Authority police officers Will Jimeno and John McLoughlin from the ruins of the World Trade Center.

Stone will direct the film, his first effort behind the camera since helming last year's Alexander, and Cage will play McLoughlin. Andrea Berloff penned the screenplay. Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher and Moritz Borman will produce.

Jimeno and McLoughlin had rushed into the smoldering Twin Towers to help save victims, only to end up trapped under the rubble when the skyscrapers collapsed. Miraculously, they survived, thanks in part to rescuers who reached them before their air supply was exhausted. They were the last two survivors discovered at Ground Zero. Paramount says the film also focuses on their rescuers and their families, who are attempting to find out what happened to the trapped men. The film is a portrayal of how the human spirit rose above the tragic events of that day.

Oliver Stone said in a statement, "Andrea Berloff's screenplay is one of the best that's ever come to me out of the blue – I guess like that day. It walloped me – and many others – with its emotion and simplicity. Clearly, it's a work of collective passion, a serious meditation on what happened, and carries within a compassion that heals. It's an exploration of heroism in our country – but is international at the same time in its humanity."

McLoughlin said, "It needs to be told how this horrific tragedy brought Americans and the world together to help those in need. The people involved in putting this movie together are truly making an extraordinary attempt to tell those stories and the stories of those who are no longer with us."

"This film is also a testament to the good that we as human beings are capable of. I have all the confidence in the world that with such a great script that was written by Andrea Berloff and having one of the world's greatest directors, Oliver Stone, who has served his country and knows the price of freedom, this film will be one that will live on for generations to come, not only in America but the world," said Jimeno.

Variety says the film is on the fast-track, with pre-production already underway in New York.

07-10-2005, 01:18 PM
I really don't agree with this at all, something about turning a modern tragedy into a for-profit sensational drama that bothers me. Hell the "DVD tribute" was sickening enough to me.

Oliver Stone bothers me (he's a joke of a director).

The fact that Al-Qaeda types will welcome the tribute to their dirty work bothers me.

Finally I have no desire to re-live that day and the last thing I want to do is go sit through a re-created freakin' movie of it.


07-10-2005, 01:38 PM
Oliver Stone bothers me (he's a joke of a director). Yep, and this just confirms that. Same goes for Cage being a joke of an actor. I wasn't surprised to hear the news, nor was I surprised when I read who was in line to direct. It's embarrassing to the men and women who lost their lives, and who risked their lives in the effort after the attacks.

07-10-2005, 02:03 PM
I would have to agree with you fellas. Not a Stone fan and I also have no desire to relive that day of my life.

07-10-2005, 02:04 PM
Bad idea.

07-10-2005, 04:19 PM
Will there be a cheesy love-story built into the movie? :rolleyes:

If they make this movie, I will not go see it.

07-10-2005, 07:55 PM
He'll somehow connect it with the Kennedy assassination. ;)

07-10-2005, 08:18 PM
he'll somehow link this to kennedy,vietnam and whatever else is in the movie it'll be america's fault

07-10-2005, 08:35 PM
Ist there an acceptable time frame? 10 years? 20?

Movies were made about Pearl Harbor within 20-30 years. How old is the Diary of Anne Frank?

FX is putting out a new dramatic series called Over There. The subject is the war in Iraq. Is it a bad idea as well?

I think maybe the timing is the issue, and in fact the only issue. I would want to see a movie on this subject, IF it was done with as much class, decorum and devotion to the truth that Schindler's List, Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan were crafted with.

But yes. It is too soon. When our memories start to fade, when some of us can't quite remember what time or what day or where they were. When our children are old enought to understand how horrific an act it was, but have no memory of it, then. Then make the movie.

We aren't healed enough yet.

07-10-2005, 08:37 PM
I don't think Stone has made a worthwhile movie since Platoon (which was on this weekend by the way ;) )

07-11-2005, 01:59 AM
Wayyy to early. Something this big needs probably 20+ years.

07-11-2005, 07:04 AM
He'll somehow connect it with the Kennedy assassination. ;)
Stone is a skilled film maker, but he wouldn't be my first choice to make a movie about 9/11.

07-11-2005, 08:46 AM
Being the conspiratory thinker that he is, he'll probably make one and call it "9-10" and it will be about what our government knew beforehand, but didn't want anyone to know. ;)

Roy Tucker
07-11-2005, 08:47 AM
How long was it till they made a movie about Pearl Harbor?

07-11-2005, 09:02 AM
I understand why people are drawing comparisons to Pearl Harbor movie-making and this. However, Pearl Harbor was a military base. It was a surprise attack and many Americans died... but it was a military base.

9-11 was a surprise attack too. However, it was an attack on civilians. Sure the Pentagon was hit and may be considered military in nature, but the vast majority of people injured and killed that day were civilians (typical al queda wusses that they are). While both Pearl Harbor and 9-11 saw the untimely deaths of thousands, there is a HUGE difference.

IMO... typical Hollywood. NO RESPECT for anything or anyone. No such thing as leaving something alone for a RESPECTFUL amount of time. To hell with that when there is money to be made and rumors to be started. Oliver Stone shows his true colors with this idea. And those colors are not respectful... they are selfish and ego-driven colors. Pathetic. I hope Americans show their respect by not giving this fool a damn dime.

07-11-2005, 09:04 AM
How long was it till they made a movie about Pearl Harbor?

If you count "From Here to Eternity" it was 12 years. If you consider the first "real" Pearl Harbor movie to be "Tora Tora Tora!" then it was 29 years.

A lot of documentaries made immediately after the attack, but we've already had those for 9/11 as well.

07-11-2005, 09:42 AM
Any movie will have invented dialogue. Shakespeare put words in the mouths of his historical characters, but Julius Caesar, Brutus, et al had been dead for 1500+ years, so no one objected. It is a somewhat more delicate task of putting words in the mouths of real people in a movie made so soon after the event.
I will say this----the movie about 9/11 I would be interested in seeing would not feature any politicians, left or right, Republican or Democrat. The drama, tragedy and triumph would come from those ordinary Americans who exhibited courage that day, be it in attempting to rescue others from the World Trade Center before it collapsed or in the failed attempt to take over a jetliner over Pennsylvania, an attempt that failed but still probably saved countless lives.
If I made a movie about 9/11, it would show families on jetliners on their way to Disneyworld, only to be confronted by terrorists cutting the throats of flight attendants; moms and dads would be shown trying to reassure crying children that everything was okay just before the plane explodes in a fireball into the World Trade Center.
The movie would the desperation of people trapped on the upper floors of the Trade Center, with some electing to jump to their deaths rather than burn up.
It would show firefighters and police risking, and in some cases losing, their lives saving others.
It would show people reporting to work at the Pentagon, protecting this country, only to die when a plane plunged into the structure.
It would show people on a doomed jetliner, talking on cell phones, realizing what was occurring and what their options were, and then deciding to try to take over the plane from the terrorists.
"Let's Roll" would probably be the final words in my movie. No one would be called a "little Eichmann."

Roy Tucker
07-11-2005, 09:50 AM
While both Pearl Harbor and 9-11 saw the untimely deaths of thousands, there is a HUGE difference.
Certainly, I'm not disputing that.

Pearl Harbor was a planned military attack on a military base as an act of war from one sovereign nation upon another while 9/11 was terrorist attack by a shadow group upon civilians. Miles of difference in the nature of the two attacks. Just like the miles of difference between World War II and the current war on terrorism.

But I was comparing it from the standpoint of its impact on the collective psyche of the US. People remember 9/11 like Pearl Harbor as a galvanizing moment, the heroism displayed, reverence for the fallen, and as a place of honor.

07-11-2005, 11:25 AM
i'll go out on a limb and say it is NOT too soon for a movie about 9-11. if done well, and in good taste, it could become a true classic, a cinematic landmark.
unfortunately, i do not think it will turn into such a project. Stone's last pictures have been complete messes. i do not think he has enough respect amongst the public to pull off such a project - seeing the film is in the early stages, i have hopes it will either be abandoned, or Stone will be replaced by a director who CAN tastefully and efficiently show the drama, tragedy, and respect (respect being the key word). two which come to mind are Ridley Scott and Speilberg.
only my opinion, though.

07-12-2005, 11:46 PM
http://www.calendarlive.com/movies/cl-et-oliverstone13jul13,0,4274828.story?coll=la-home-headlines (http://www.calendarlive.com/movies/cl-et-oliverstone13jul13,0,4274828.story?coll=la-home-headlines)


Stone assesses Sept. 11 project

The director vows to focus on heroism, not politics, in depicting a real-life WTC rescue.

By Rachel Abramowitz
Times Staff Writer

July 13, 2005

Two men, a rookie police officer and his boss, are trapped 20 feet below a collapsed building. Their bodies are being crushed by massive chunks of cement and have begun to swell. Though they're relative strangers, they spend the next 14 hours goading each other to live, while their families worry over their fate and a ragtag group of rescuers tries to save their lives.

It might be a typical Hollywood disaster movie, but it's actually scenes from the script (obtained by the Los Angeles Times) of the upcoming film about Port Authority police officers Will Jimeno and John McLoughlin, among the last people rescued from the collapseof the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. And it is being brought to the screen by Oliver Stone, long seen as the nation's premier conspiracy-theorist-turned-director.

"It's not about the motives of the terrorists, or who the terrorists were, or the politics of 9/11 in any way," said Stone, whose involvement in the film (which will star Nicolas Cage) was made public by Paramount Pictures last week. "It's about people standing together and overcoming the problem. It's a no-nonsense, austere, vιritι document of what they went through in those 24 hours, a procedural if you like, and it should be shot like that."

Word of Stone's participation immediately led to convulsions on the Internet, where bloggers cracked morbid jokes about what Stone might deliver, and whether the director — who proffered a revisionist theory of the Kennedy assassination in his 1991 film "JFK" — would be a suitable candidate to tackle one of the most sensitive topics in recent American history. Others winced at the timing of Paramount's press release one day after the bombings in London.

A year from now, when the film presumably will be released, close to the fifth-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, audiences might be wondering whether they want to shell out 10 dollars to relive the experience. The riveting and well-crafted script — by 31-year-old newcomer Andrea Berloff — is not political. But it is disturbing, with shots of people jumping out of the towers and characters dying under slabs of concrete. Stone's visceral style of directing could amplify the terror experienced by the policemen and, consequently, by the audience.

"[The project] came to me," said Stone, who says he was given the script by his Creative Artists Agency agent Bryan Lourd back in late December, although he wasn't offered the project until May. "If it hadn't come to me, I wouldn't have done it. [The script] just hit me between the eyes."

The director himself thinks that a film about 9/11 should have "been done right away. I don't think you should run from things. You should confront them. It's better for the country. Look at the English [reaction to the recent London subway bombings]. They took it and absorbed it and continued on. They didn't run around and call for huge pieces of legislation costing billions of dollars to defend our homeland and create a huge war in a foreign country."

That is just the sort of subtext that conservative Internet bloggers believe could infuse a film in Stone's hands. Given the narrative story arc of the script, though, it would be hard for a director to add explicit political content, with the two major protagonists spending most of the film in a hole, unaware that the towers have even fallen down.

While allusions to 9/11 have begun to filter through pop culture — most notably in Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" allegory — the untitled Stone film is on track to become the first high-profile studio film to explicitly deal with the tragedy. Although Spielberg's film earned largely glowing notices, some reviewers were troubled by his use of 9/11 imagery, and others have begun to wonder whether the gritty darkness of "War of the Worlds" has turned off some moviegoers. Disaster films usually work on the principle that the on-screen mayhem is a fantastical occurrence, a freakish event that will be suitably confronted, and resolved, by the film's hero.

Hollywood has traditionally taken years to explore wounds to the national psyche. It took more than a decade from the start of American involvement in Vietnam for Hollywood to produce "Coming Home" and "The Deer Hunter," and another decade before Stone made "Platoon." Some episodes from American history — the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima — have barely been examined by Hollywood.

Stone, who's coming off the flop "Alexander," has long been a lightning rod for his controversial stances on everything from Kennedy to Castro. In the aftermath of 9/11, the director was excoriated by members of the press for suggesting that the attacks were a revolt against multi-nationals, "a rebellion against globalization, against the American way," he said at the time. He told the New Yorker about his fantasy of making a "bullet of a film about terrorism, like 'The Battle of Algiers,' " the 1966 film about the Algerian war in which director Gillo Pontecorvo's sympathies lie with the FLN terrorists. "You show the Arab side and the American side in a chase film with a 'French Connection' urgency, where you track people by satellite, like in 'Enemy of the State.' My movie would have the CIA guys and the FBI guys, but they blow it. They're a bunch of drunks from World War II who haven't recovered from the disasters of the '60s — the Kennedy assassination and Vietnam. My movie would show the new heroes of security, the people who really get the job done, who know where the secrets are."

After Friday's announcement connecting the director to the project, bloggers had a field day with visions of a stereotypical Stone paranoid fantasy. "Is Hollywood so out of touch it thinks Stone's version of 9/11 is what America is clamoring for? After 'Alexander,' at that?" asked blogger Mickey Kaus, while another enterprising blogger on the Huffington post wrote up a fake version of the script in which the two lead characters discuss a possible conspiracy in highly inflammable terms.

In fact, the script, which might be the most coherent, moving piece of material to fall into Stone's hands in over a decade, appears to be a straightforward account of the rescue of Jimeno and McLoughlin (the latter to be played by Cage). The story also focuses on their families, and their ad hoc group of rescuers, which includes a born-again Christian former Marine, who drove in his Porsche from Connecticut to help out, as well as a recovering-alcoholic-former paramedic with an expired license and a couple of New York City police officers who at one point had nothing but a pair of handcuffs with which to dig Jimeno out. While waiting to be rescued, one of the policemen even dreams of Jesus.

According to one source close to the project, producers Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher ("Erin Brockovich") bought Jimeno's and McLoughlin's life rights out of their private development fund, after being brought the story by the late Debra Hill. Screenwriter Berloff has spent extensive time interviewing the real life participants in the drama. This is her first produced screenplay. The film was initially set up at Universal but is now being produced at Paramount.

The film project does bring Stone back to the blue collar terrain of some of his most successful works: "Platoon" and "Born on the Fourth of July." He met with both Jimeno and McLoughlin. "I found them both to be courageous, deeply wounded people. They're both still suffering from the injuries," said Stone, who then quoted Jimeno. "Will said this is a testament not to the evil, but to the good that we as human beings are capable of. That's important. That's healing."

If you want other stories on this topic, search the Archives at latimes.com/archives (http://www.latimes.com/archives).

07-13-2005, 12:05 AM
"It's about people standing together and overcoming the problem." - Stone

How exactly is this portrayed in the film I wonder? A firefighter bravely rescues someone? They do that every day, what makes 9/11 any different?

should have "been done right away. I don't think you should run from things. You should confront them. It's better for the country. Look at the English [reaction to the recent London subway bombings]. They took it and absorbed it and continued on. They didn't run around and call for huge pieces of legislation costing billions of dollars to defend our homeland and create a huge war in a foreign country."

Not really sure what he's saying there, they didn't make a "G8 London Bomb" blockbuster yet Stone so maybe you can do that next eh?

I just don't get the need or reason to make this movie at all, it's not something you sit around watching eating popcorn and slurping on sodas to...ridiculous, I don't really understand people.

This was a tragedy, nothing more, and represents everything that is wrong with people and humanity in general. I have no desire to re-live anything about that day and I hope Stone is happy raking in millions over it.

We're reminded of it enough, and the terrorists are very happy about that.