Some first look images have surfaced from screenwriter Chris Roessner’s Iraq war drama Sand Castle, starring Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road), Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus), Glen Powell (Everybody Wants Some!!), Sam Spruell (The Hurt Locker), Beau Knapp (The Nice Guys), Neil Brown Jr. (Straight Outta Compton) and Henry Cavill (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice).
Brazilian director Fernando Coimbra tells Military.com’s entertainment blog why Sand Castle is different than other war movies. “The main characters of Sand Castle are part of the Civil Affairs of the U.S. Army. They are there also to fight, but their main goal is to deal with the locals and the problems caused by the US forces. I think Sand Castle shows this interaction with the Iraqi people in a very humanist and realistic way that I haven’t seen in other films. We can see the meeting of these two different cultures, with all the differences and similarities. The film also explores the conflict of different motivations to be there that a soldier can experience in this war. The conflict between the soldier’s motivations and the real motivations of that war.”
Iraq war veteran Chris Roessner based the film on his experiences in the 4th Infantry Division during the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003-2004. He spoke to a Henry Cavill fansite about where the idea came from, “I served in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Iraq during the initial invasion. This was 2003-2004. I spent a year there and, even before, knew I wanted to be a filmmaker. I remember seeing Oliver Stone’s film Platoon at 3am. I was in Saddam Hussein’s palace in Tikrit and the film ended just as the sun was coming up. It was a moment changed my life. I thought… I had no idea you could make a film so deeply personal, so poetic, about the journey through war and the search for meaning. It wasn’t a ‘mission’ movie. That is to say it wasn’t a film about one particular goal, but it was more experiential. It was a film about searching, about the struggle for a young man to keep his soul intact even though the war was trying to corrupt it. I wanted to do something akin to that. You could trace this movie back to that moment in 2004.”
Set in Iraq circa 2003, Sand Castle is based on screenwriter Chris Roessner’s experience as a machine gunner in Iraq’s Sunni Triangle. The plot centers on Matt Ocre (Nicholas Hoult), who is part of a mission to repair a broken water system in the dangerous and unstable Iraqi village of Baqubah. While the people of Baghdad welcome the Americans as saviors, the villagers resist their presence and Matt and his unit must try to convince the community that they are part of the solution, not the problem, in order to save the town and get out alive.
Sand Castle is expected to premiere on Netflix in the spring of 2017.