In the strangest way to release news about a potential project, Oliver Stone has announced — via his commentary on the Blu-ray release of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps — that he and Shia LaBeouf have discussed potentially reuniting for Pinkville, a Vietnam War investigative drama centering on the My Lai Massacre of 1968.
If Pinkville sounds familiar to you, it’s because, well, it should be. Back in 2007, Stone was set to start production on the film with a tremendous cast that featured talent such as Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum, Michael Pena, Woody Harrelson, and Michael Pitt, among others. Unfortunately the project was shelved right before production began due to the impending Writers’ Strike.
Now, almost four years later, there’s some new life in Pinkville. Stone said that he and LaBeouf originally talked about the project during their work on the Wall Street sequel. Reportedly, it sparked LaBeouf’s interest because his father was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. In the film, sources are speculating that LaBeouf will play a helicopter pilot (originally Tatum’s role) because of this.
For those of you who need to brush up on your history, the My Lai Massacre took place on March 16, 1968 — and it was awful. 504 Vietnamese — mostly unarmed women and children — were murdered. Here’s a clip from a BBC report:
Soldiers went berserk, gunning down unarmed men, women, children and babies. Families which huddled together for safety in huts or bunkers were shown no mercy. Those who emerged with hands held high were murdered. … Elsewhere in the village, other atrocities were in progress. Women were gang raped; Vietnamese who had bowed to greet the Americans were beaten with fists and tortured, clubbed with rifle butts and stabbed with bayonets. Some victims were mutilated with the signature “C Company” carved into the chest. By late morning word had got back to higher authorities and a cease-fire was ordered. My Lai was in a state of carnage. Bodies were strewn through the village.
We’re not really sure how the controversial Stone plans to handle such a delicate and sensitive subject. Hopefully, he’ll manage to portray it somewhat gracefully with a measure of restraint. Sadly, we know he won’t. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the films of Oliver Stone over the years it’s that they spend two hours shoving his thoughts and opinions down your throat. Should he do that with this topic? Of course not. Will he? Probably. Will he make a ton of money while doing it? Definitely. Maybe the title of this film should be My Lai Massacre, Part 2: Where Oliver Stone Makes Money On Tragedy, Again.