After an arduous, eight-year-long process, the new film “12 Strong,” which details the story of a U.S. Special Forces unit sent to Afghanistan to work with indigenous tribes in the wake of the September 11 attacks, is set to be released this week.
The film, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and starring Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Peña and Trevante Rhodes, is based on Doug Stanton’s novel “Horse Soldiers,” released in 2009. That novel, and the compelling, shocking story it lays out, is what initially drew Bruckheimer to the project.
“It was the book,” he said during an interview with FOX Business’ Kennedy. “It was the story of these 12 guys who went right in there and left their families, right after 9/11, and had no idea if they were going to come back alive. It was a suicide mission.”
What complicated the mission further was that in order to fight the Taliban, the U.S. forces had to work with local, Afghan tribes. But, against all odds, the mission ended successfully: The U.S. secured the fourth-largest city in Afghanistan in three weeks, a remarkably short period of time.
In order to produce the movie, Bruckheimer said, he had to get a good screenplay, interview the real-life soldiers and work with different screenwriters, who are always eager to move on to the next project. And once he’d attained some A-list actors, he had them shadow the real-life soldiers they’d be portraying. “They sat with the real men, they talked with them, they interviewed them,” he said.
“It’s a process,” he added.