One of the major criticisms of American Sniper was the amount of time it spent on Chris Kyle’s war experience instead of focusing on his difficulties reintegrating into civilian life. While we can always wonder what might have been, there’s little doubt that the film would have been different in that area and many others if Steven Spielberg directed it, as he’d originally planned. Now, he might get a chance to tell a similar story as he takes on Thank You For Your Service, a film about American veterans returning from war with PTSD which is rumored to start production this year.
Thank You For Your Service has been floating around Spielberg’s schedule for awhile now. Originally, it was going to star Daniel Day-Lewis, but that was several years ago. Now, the film is beginning to be talked about again, with some indication that Spielberg might be moving towards beginning production with a script from American Sniper scribe Jason Hall.
Spielberg has his plate full at the moment, though. He recently shot a Cold War thriller with Tom Hanks (now in post-production), and is simultaneously in pre-production on an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG, which will probably start filming this spring. That means that he’ll have to start Thank You For Your Service not long after The BFG, if it gets done this year. That’s quite a full schedule even for Spielberg, but he’s a quick worker.
If Daniel Day-Lewis is still attached to this project along with Spielberg, then I can only say that I hope it gets made. Certainly American Sniper would have been a more nuanced film if Spielberg was at the helm. Iraq and Afghanistan war movies are few and far between, but it’s about time we began discussing, very seriously, the issues that veterans face when they return. This film might be just what we need to continue the dialogue.
As always, we will let you know when we hear more about Thank You For Your Service.