Benedict Cumberbatch Catches The Yellow Birds

Will Poulter & Tye Sheridan also recruited for the drama


Hiring just one buzzed-about actor is good enough for most directors. But Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’ David Lowery is aiming for three for his latest, hiring Benedict Cumberbatch, Will Poulter and Tye Sheridan to star in The Yellow Birds.

Lowery has written the script himself, adapting Iraq War veteran Kevin Powers’ novel. The book focuses on two soldiers, 21-year-old Private Bartle and 18-year-old Private Murphy, who meet and become friends in boot camp while preparing to head off for combat in Iraq. Bartle promise’s Murphy’s mother that he’ll bring him home safely, but they discover that keeping such oaths is difficult in a place where death lurks all around.

Lowery heard about the book from Story Mining & Supply Company bosses Jeffrey Sharp and Evan Hayes, who bought the rights and began to develop the script.

“I never had any interest in making a war film until Jeff and Evan brought me the novel by Kevin Powers,” Lowery says in a statement picked up by The Hollywood Reporter. “And perhaps I still don't, because while Powers' story takes place during wartime, it isn't about the conflict. It is about characters that find themselves caught up in war, but who struggle to not let it define them. I fell in love with them.”

There's no time scale for this one yet, but we'd hope to see it next year.