Michael Bay to Remotely Blow Up America’s Enemies in ‘Drone Warrior’
For better and for worse, Michael Bay is America. His work is loud, dumb but mounted on a scale that all but demands respect, all jacked up on patriotism, continuously tolerant of Mark Wahlberg, easily distracted by large shiny objects, and more than anything, enamored of explosions. Bay’s not the greatest living filmmaker, but he may be the most fundamentally American, and he’s about to make that comparison an eensy bit more literal with a new project focused on the nasty business of war. Specifically, that newest and most unsettling form of automated combat, drone warfare.
Deadline reports today that writer Andy Bellin (the pen behind the biopic Lovelace, so that’s something) has been hired by Paramount and Bay to adapt the novel Drone Warrior, the true account of a “small group of elite soldiers” who use joysticks in an isolated room to control killer robots miles away. The Deadline post elaborates on the material, explaining that the film is told from the viewpoint of drone operator Brett Velicovich, and that the original book is “based on the true story of how ISIS rose to power, the behind the scenes tactics of drone warfare and what our military has done to try to destroy the terrorist group.”
The actual Drone Warrior book won’t hit shelves until June 27, and Bay’s always got plenty on his plate, so the wheels of progress may turn slowly on this project. It’s a tricky, nuanced situation — for one, drone warfare has made international conflict into a far more dispassionate process and led to civilian casualties that may have been avoided with a manned strike. But on the other hand, hey, it works — Velicovich’s team killed 14 of America’s 20 highest-priority targets in their first three months of operation. Leave it to Michael Bay to capture the complexities of this ongoing debate!