Renny Harlin’s Five Day War

Action director gets serious

Renny Harlin's Five Day War

by Owen Williams |
Published on

He's known for popcorn blockbusters like Cliffhanger, Die Hard 2, and The Long Kiss Goodnight, but Renny Harlin's next film is an untitled drama based on the 2008 South Ossetia war.

The five-day war saw Georgia launching a large-scale military assault on the Russian-backed Republic of South Ossetia: an internationally unrecognised regional government resulting from the Georgian / Ossetian conflict of 1991-2.

Russia responded with some force, but recognised South Ossetia's independence in late August 2008, and had officially withdrawn by October, although tensions remain.

According to Variety, Harlin has been waiting to get his teeth into this kind of story for a while. The Finnish director was recently attached to a biopic of his countryman Carl Gustav Emil Mannerheim, the leader of Finland's 1939 revolt against Russia, but funding fell through.

"I've waited a long time to find something with substance and reality," says Harlin. "When I got this script two weeks ago, it was exactly what I had been looking for: a great human story, with tragic, serious overtones. I saw it as my opportunity to use my experience in action films to tell the story of a complex conflict that is impartial but makes a strong antiwar statement."

The source of that script hasn't yet been named, and the film is, as yet, without a title. All Harlin will reveal is that it involves a journalist and a cameraman caught in the crossfire. The budget isn't up to Die Hard standards, and Harlin may be insisting it's a low-key story of the human condition, but if he doesn't make something spectacular of the conflict's central three-day battle at Tskhinvali, we'll be surprised.

Pre-production and casting are already underway. The shooting starts in mid-September.

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