Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan is one of the greatest war movies ever made, something that simply can’t be disputed. The haunting, atmospheric and riveting story was a box office smash hit and an awards season darling when it arrived in 1998, and arguably hasn’t been bettered since.
Robert Rodat landed an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, and although he followed it up immediately afterwards with Roland Emmerich’s The Patriot, he hasn’t returned to the onscreen battlefield for over 20 years. However, that’s about to change after Deadline revealed the scribe is set to pen true-life story Semper Fi.
The incredible tale of Marine Major Thomas Schueman and his Afghan interpreter Zainulla Zaki, the two men formed a bond that outlasted their shared experience during the divisive conflict. When Schueman returned to the United States, he unsuccessfully tried to get Zaki and his family out of Afghanistan, where they were ultimately targeted for execution.
That happened as recently as this summer during the U.S. withdrawal due to Zaki’s prior involvement with the American military, and Schueman got directly involved to ensure that his friend, his wife and their four children managed to escape during a rescue mission at Kabul airport.
If you need someone to deliver a script for an intense war drama rooted in fact and dripping with tension, then the guy responsible for Saving Private Ryan is about as sure a pair of hands for Semper Fi as you could hope to find.