Tuesday, November 20, 2012
by Kyle Hembree
When American special forces unit SEAL Team 6 rescued a pair of aid workers from Somali pirates earlier this year, it became only a matter of time before someone decided to create a dramatization of the incident. Such bigger-than-life stories are just too solid a source of inspiration for Hollywood to pass up.
As such, we will soon see a movie inspired by this infamous raid in High Value Target. The special forces versus modern-day pirates film has been optioned by gritty action purveyor Millennium Films.
In an announcement covered by The Wrap, Millennium Films stated that it has purchased the script for High Value Target, an action movie centered around an American special forces’ attack on a Somali pirate ship. Millennium has stated that High Value Target is intended to be the first of what they hope will be a low-budget, high-return action-adventure franchise.
While High Value Target does not directly state its SEAL Team 6 inspiration, the parallels are obvious. The script, written by newcomer Spenser Cohen, follows a special forces squad codenamed “Mantis” as it infiltrates the base of operations for a major piracy network. The movie is currently intended to have a realistic, almost found-footage quality; for instance, the script calls for many of the scenes to be shot from cameras attached to actual members of the Mantis unit. The Millennium announcement describes the tone of the movie to be, “Black Hawk Down meets The Raid: Redemption.” Scripter Cohen is also set to direct the film if it moves forward into full production.
With many incidents of Somali piracy capturing the world’s attention in recent years, the appeal of creating a movie around them is undeniable. Millennium Films has produced a number of grit-choked action-thrillers, including The Expendables 2 and the upcoming The Iceman. Combined with the recent interest in Navy SEAL squads such as Team 6 (see also Zero Dark Thirty, which chronicles the death of Osama Bin Laden) and High Value Target looks like a property to watch.
That said, one might question exactly what Millennium Films expects out of High Value Target in terms of tone and presentation. The company’s announcement seems to indicate a more muted and businesslike script, but it has also been stated that High Value Target is intended to be in the mold of The Expendables. Given that both Expendables movies are far from realistic, it’s difficult to discern just what creative vision will be applied to this tale of elite commandos taking on modern-day pirates. This tone will no doubt be solidified by the time production begins, but the contradictory messages of High Value Target‘s announcement leaves us wondering exactly what we’re going to get.
High Value Target has not yet locked on to a release date.