For the last six or seven years, Brad Pitt has been following his own artistic impulses, confusing fans of the more conventional mainstream films that made him famous. While this has proved to be the most acclaimed and impressive phase of the actor’s career, it has also resulted in several commercial disappointments (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Tree of Life, Killing Them Softly) and few outright hits. While Pitt continues to pursue seemingly challenging projects with the directors he admires (Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave, for example), he’s also making a concerted effort to throw a few crowd-pleasers into the mix. The latest example is Fury, a World War II drama from a noticeably lower end filmmaker than Pitt is used to working with: End of Watch director, David Ayer.
Ayer started as a screenwriter, earning praise—and a shot at a directing career—for his work on Training Day. In all likelihood, Pitt’s attraction to Fury stems largely from Ayer’s script and its promise of a return to commercial prominence. According to Deadline, the film follows a five-man tank crew battling desperate Nazis at the conclusion of World War II. Undoubtedly sensing echoes of his biggest recent hit (Inglourious Basterds), Pitt is in final negotiations to star.
Describing the project, Ayer (who recently wrapped Ten, a collaboration with Arnold Schwarzenegger) promises a fresh approach to the genre. “What these men went through is worthy of a complex, honest portrayal,” he said. “This will have incredible, visceral action and complex, rich characters. I plan to bring tank combat to life in a way that lands with a modern audience.”