Tatum, Hardy to star in Afghanistan exit film, angering fans
Universal Pictures has picked up a new film pitch from American screenwriter George Nolfi based on the West’s evacuation from Afghanistan, Deadline reported on Tuesday.
Actors Channing Tatum and Tom Hardy are set to star in the currently untitled movie, as well as produce it alongside Jules Daly, Reid Carolin and Peter Kiernan.
The plot is based on the stories of three former special forces team members who “jump back into the fray” and attempt to rescue families and allies amid the Taliban’s rapid takeover in August, according to the Hollywood news website.
Afghanistan, which was seized by the insurgent group after the US and NATO forces decided to end 20-year missions, is now in the grips of an economic, social and political crisis, with millions marching towards starvation.
Many have called out the movie for being insensitive at a time when Afghanistan is struggling to cope with soaring poverty levels and deprivation, a situation that many commentators say can be blamed squarely on the West.
“Instead of spending the money to bring those who are still stuck over there home, we choose to make a movie instead!” wrote one social media user.
“Take ALL the money that would be put into making this at-best misguided mistake, and instead, donate it to organisations aiding refugees from Afghanistan. Help those folks start anew and (re)build their lives instead of making money off their *very real and ongoing* suffering.
The movie will be "torn-from-the headlines" using news stories from over the summer, according to Empire.
Nolfi, who will be the executive producer, is best known for directing sci-fi action hit The Adjustment Bureau.
EXCLUSIVE: Channing Tatum and Tom Hardy are attached to star in George Nolfi-scripted Afghanistan evacuation pic for Universal https://t.co/ENfeA93cdH— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) November 9, 2021
The UN estimates that 95 percent of people in Afghanistan do not have enough food and 23 million are on the brink of starvation.
“We are now looking at the worst humanitarian crisis on earth,” said the head of the World Food Programme, David Beasley. “It is going to be hell on earth.”
CEO of the International Rescue Committee David Miliband said Tuesday: “If hell really does arrive in Afghanistan in the next few months, it’s gonna be the West that gets the blame.”
Miliband said it “takes the breath away” the country has been left to collapse and its people abandoned.
The US decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, a deal negotiated under Donald Trump and implemented by US President Joe Biden, was widely criticised for its mismanagement and potential to cause chronic instability.
The Taliban's swift power-grab left thousands rushing to Kabul airport in the hopes of escaping to another country.
Despite Western evacuation efforts, thousands were unable to travel out of Afghanistan, leaving them at the mercy of the insurgent group and struggling in an economy hard-hit by cuts to international aid and asset freezes.
Countries like the US and Britain now face the complex task of attempting to alleviate suffering in the country without legitimising the Taliban and emboldening further corruption and inequality.