Brad Pitt will be bringing a whole new level of mental and egoism to Netflix with War Machine, a film about a man trying to change Afghanistan.
There’s no new anything to war films these days. It’s all explosions, deaths, the pains of suffering and loss. This is why no matter how politically significant war films could be, not many people learn to appreciate the genre.
But Brad Pitt is looking to change that by bringing a brand new take on war films on Netflix.
Before March ended, we were treated to a glimpse of Brad Pitt’s first ever Netflix project, according to Deadline. Titled War Machine, Brad Pitt’s Netflix debut will be the birth of a fresh new Brad Pitt and a rebirth of the war film genre. And it looks like Netflix is very positive about War Machine since the feature film took almost $60 million to make, which makes it the biggest-budget feature by Netflix to date.
What makes Netflix and Brad Pitt’s newest collaboration so different to warrant such huge faith? Known indie creator and director David Michôd told the Guardian that War Machine will feature such savage humor that pokes at the absurdity of war and the ambition of men. Grand it may sound, but this is exactly the kind of political lens that the world needs right now: for something, or someone, to point out how wars have become less of what it’s meant to be.
Brad Pitt’s character in this new Netflix feature is Gen. Glen McMahon and he says on the trailer, “We are here to build, to protect, to support the civilian population. To that end, we must avoid killing it at all cost. We can’t help them and kill them at the same time. It’s just ain’t humanely possible. Yeah.”
Funny how you won’t hear this kind of speech from usual war flicks. Usually, it’s all about teaching the value of sacrificing human life for the greater good. But then again, what is this “greater good” that wars fight for? What good is this “greater good” if you have no people left to enjoy it?
This is exactly the kind of narrative that Brad Pitt’s War Machine tries to convey, in a way that’s less dogmatic and more convincing to viewers.
What’s more interesting, Michôd noted, is how War Machine came to be, thanks to the quirky mix of characters they brought to the Netflix feature.
“There’s something very fun about working with actors of that age. They’re not totally green, but they’re still hungry. There’s still something exciting about the fact they’re getting to do it at all.”
And when it comes to Brad Pitt playing the protagonist of War Machine, Michôd is especially excited on how Brad Pitt brought out the quirky that they needed in the role.
“We had conversations about where to pitch the character and knew quite quickly that there was no point in Brad trying to keep a leash on it. For us, it was about letting the movie be mental.”
Other actors Michôd cast into War Machine are Tilda Swinton and Ben Kingsley.
Brad Pitt told the Advocate that he was able to piece together the mental state of mind that is Gen. Glen McMahon in War Machine, despite the character, because of how he found one connection between him and McMahon—and it’s a swollen ego that’s made many damages.
“Hubris is a trap, and it’s the trap of every great nation that has been number one for too long. You start believing your own stink. Anytime I’ve gotten in trouble, it’s because of my own hubris.”
Brad Pitt being able to relate deeply to how ego can ruin things, of course, obviously stems from the state of his family right now with actress Angelina Jolie. And Brad Pitt is all about being open about these things, as he notes that not talking about these human conditions will not make it any better.
And the fact that this kind of movie with this kind of budget was given to the hands of Netflix says a lot about the changing habits of people when it comes to watching films.
Michôd says about making War Machine a small-screen feature film with a cinema budget:
“It’s kind of magnificent. I love the possibility of turning the movie into an event. I spent almost a year cutting this. It’s that fine chiselling you can do when you have the resources to properly finish something that’s two hours long.
“….people’s televisions are so great these days. I know it’s almost heretical for a director to say they don’t care.” And don’t you? “If I’m completely honest, it’s totally reflective of how I watch movies these days. I like watching movies at home.”
Brad Pitt’s upcoming Netflix flick, War Machine, is based on the nonfiction book The Operators by Michael Hastings. The Operators tells the story of how General Stanley McChrystal was fired from the United States Army and War Machine is handling it in a more fictionalized, savagely satiric way.
Brad Pitt’s War Machine comes to Netflix May 26, 2017.
[Featured image by Netflix]