Eric Bana is in talks to star in Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor – the Universal film based on the firefight with the Afghanistan combatants the Taliban that resulted in the largest loss of life in Navy SEAL history.
The film has been five years in the making since Universal bought the rights to Afghanistan war veteran Marcus Luttrell’s autobiographical book.
Bana, 44, will play an American soldier for the second time after starring in Ridley Scott’s 2001 Somalia-based war film Black Hawk Down.
He will lead in an impressive ensemble cast, with Mark Wahlberg, Emile Hirsh, Taylor Kitsch and Ben Foster already signed to the project.
Lone Survivor recounts a reconnaissance mission that Lutttrell undertook in 2005 with three other SEALs in the Hindu Kush region near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
The attack happened after a group of goat herders discovered a covert SEAL reconnaissance point, but were released by the SEALs according to rules of engagement. Within two hours of letting the goatherders go, the SEAL Reconnaissance and Surveillance team was ambushed a group that numbered 140 Taliban fighters.
Luttrell was the only survivor. He was left unconscious with a number of fractures, a broken back, numerous shrapnel wounds, and later a gunshot during the fight. He later regained consciousness and managed to evade the pursuing enemy, with the help of local Pashtun villagers, who would eventually send an emissary to the nearest U.S. base to secure his safe release, and ultimately save his life. The incident sparked a further fight which resulted in the largest life loss in SEAL history.
Battleship director Berg has also written the screenplay and is set to produce alongside Sarah Aubrey and Akiva Goldsman.
The Australian actor can next be seen in John Crowley’s thriller Closed Circuit. He has previously taken on roles in Steven Spielberg’s Munich, J.J Abrams’ Star Trek and Joe Wright’s Hanna after gaining widespread attention for his role as ex-criminal Chopper Read in 2000 movie Chopper.
The movie will start filming in January, 2012 with a release date set for early 2013.