Hollywood Grows Skittish About Iraq Films

Nation's volatile mood has producers wary of adapting war books
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2007 6:12 PM CDT
Johnny Deppis shown at the 64th Venice Film Festival, 2007. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Iraq war books are hitting stores in droves—with some 40 titles coming out this fall—but Hollywood isn't lining up to adapt them like before. A dicey political mood, huge war flick budgets, and fears of bleak, box office clunkers like Rendition all have producers scared, the Los Angeles Times reports. Two recent books, The Deserter’s Tale and The Bomb in My Garden, endured extended development before getting picked up.

US producers snubbed the anti-war Deserter’s Tale until a Canuck company grabbed it, and Johnny Depp's company okayed The Bomb in My Garden, about an Iraqi nuclear scientist—but made the lead a US journalist. Other projects are developing, but Generation Kill went to HBO, where, the producer says, worried execs won’t ask him, “There’s not enough action; who gets killed in this story?”