Is Michael Bay finally as tired of the Transformers as the rest of us? It appears that may be the case, with news that the blockbuster-skewing director is majorly switching gears and pushing to direct political thriller 13 Hours, about the 2012 attacks on an American compound in Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Chuck Hogan, the bestselling author whose Prince of Thieves was adapted into The Town, wrote the script for 13 Hours, working from the book of the same name by Lost in Shangri-La author Mitchell Zuckoff. Erwin Stoff is producing for Paramount, which is ball-parking the budget at between $30 and $40 million.
13 Hours will focus on the six members of a security team who fought to defend the Americans stationed at the U.S. State Department Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, which Islamic militants attacked on September 11th, 2012. The security team’s valiant efforts saved many lives but were not entirely successful, seeing as Stevens, foreign service worker Sean Smith and CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty all lay dead after the attacks.
If Bay does take the gig, it will be a major departure from the tentpoles he’s become notorious for in recent years. With the exception of poorly received crime caper Pain & Gain, Bay’s feet have been firmly planted in Transformers territory since the first entry in 2007. Such a steady stream of dunder-headed action extravaganzas may have led some audiences to dismiss Bay, but it’s worth noting that he previously delivered solid flicks like Sean Connery-led thriller The Rock and space-set drama Armageddon.
On paper, 13 Hours sounds like a highly promising project. It’s certainly timely, and there’s no denying the promise of a script bringing together Zuckoff (currently a professor of journalism at Boston University as well as an acclaimed author) with Hogan (who recently got experience scripting while working on FX’s TV adaptation of The Strain, his collaboration with Guillermo del Toro).
We’ll keep you posted as more on the project develops, but for now, tell us, is this a film that you’re interested in seeing Bay tackle?