The Australian filmmaker behind Animal Kingdom will next direct Brad Pitt in The Operators, a drama on the downfall of US Army General Stanley A. McChrystal.
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15 Apr 2014 - 5:36 PM  UPDATED 24 Feb 2015 - 10:27 AM

Even before his second Australian film, The Rover, has hit cinemas, Animal Kingdom writer/director David Michôd has signed on to make a film that will star Brad Pitt as the real-life high-profile retired US Army General Stanley A. McChrystal.

Perhaps the rumours that The Rover will be in competition at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival are true.

All the major sources of international film news carried brief details of The Operators all at once today. They say that Michôd (pictured) will direct and write the adaptation using Michael Hastings’ book of the same name as the source material.

McChrystal is quite a controversial figure in recent US military history: his uncharacteristic frankness lead to him rising up the ranks but also to his downfall. His name is linked to the 2006 death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, one-time leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, and he was commander of all US military activity in Afghanistan for a year up to mid 2010.

Integral to his downfall was a Rolling Stone article by Hastings that carried far-from-flattering remarks about Barack Obama’s administration. The young author later penned a book about his time in Afghanistan with McChrystal. In June last year, Hastings died when the car he was driving slammed into a tree at high speed in Los Angeles.

The Operators is being made under the banner of Pitt’s own production company Plan B Entertainment, which has a partnership deal with New Regency and RatPac Entertainment.

Plan B was involved in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, directed by another Australian director, Andrew Dominik, who hugely impressed the Hollywood industry with Chopper just as Michôd did with Animal Kingdom. More recently, Plan B was one of the driving forces behind British director Steven McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, this year’s Academy Award winner for best film.

Michôd directed The Rover from a script by he and Joel Edgerton. Billed as a drama, it is due for release on June 12 by Australia’s biggest locally-owned distributor, Roadshow. (Roadshow is also handling director Matt Saville’s police drama Felony in August, which Edgerton wrote and stars in.)

English actor Robert Pattinson (best known for The Twilight Saga films) and US actor Scott McNairy star alongside an ensemble of Australians including the veteran Guy Pearce, Anthony Hayes, Susan Prior, Gillian Jones and David Field. Roadshow describes the film as set in the Australian desert in a dangerous and dysfunctional near future.

Watch the trailer for The Rover: