After a year in which political protests dominated headlines and Selma became a Best Picture nominee, RadicalMedia has optioned Norman Mailer’s historical, fact-based novel The Armies of the Night, about a 1960s anti-war march, for a big screen adaptation.
Mailer’s Pulitzer and National Book Award-winning book explored the 100,000-person march from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. to the gates of the Pentagon in Virginia in opposition to the Vietnam War.
Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger, whose works include the Paradise Lost trilogy of films about the infamous West Memphis Three case as well as Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger, will direct. Though Armies of the Night will be fully scripted and cast with actors, Berlinger will shoot it documentary-style, include footage from the marches and also feature period-accurate music, both rock and folk.
In an official statement, Berlinger expressed his excitement for the project, saying:
“Today, as we find ourselves in a new time of protests on the streets, and tensions in the air, I couldn’t imagine a more relevant time to bring Mailer’s vision of civil disobedience to the big screen. To achieve this in a style honoring the way Mailer put his story into words is an amazing opportunity for any filmmaker, and my own deep roots in the cinema-verite movement of the 1960’s makes this opportunity all the more exciting for me personally.”
RadicalMedia has begun casting and aims to shoot later this year. Though no release date has been set, Armies of the Night will likely materialize in time for the 2016 Oscar race.