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Writer/director Scott Cooper established himself as a promising up-and-coming filmmaker with his debut Crazy Heart, which got actor Jeff Bridges his Oscar. While his sophomore effort Out of the Furnace only gained a mixed critical response and didn't quite light the box office on fire, he appears to be doing well. He is currently making his third film, Black Mass, and has just signed on to make a movie about the Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighter crew.
Variety reported that the Crazy Heart filmmaker will be bringing the story of the Prescott, Arizona firefighter department to the big screen. Cooper will be directing a script by Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down).
For those unfamiliar with the story, on June 28, 2013 — almost a year to the date this news is being released — the Yarnell Hill fire was first ignited. For the next couple days, the fire spread, leading many members of the department to try to put out the fire on June 30, only to have 19 members of the crew perish.
Only one firefighter, Brendan McDonough, survived the fire. It was considered the greatest loss of wildland firefighters since 1933, when several died in the Griffith Park fire. It also was the biggest firefighter death toll since 9/11. The full list of those firefighters who gave their lives in the fire are listed in Deadline's report, along with the note that the firefighters who died were between the ages of 22 and 43.
“The heroic and tragic story of the men who gave their lives to protect the community of Yarnell is heartbreaking, compelling and inspiring,” Cooper said in a statement. “I look forward to telling their story with the respect, sensitivity and authenticity that these true American heroes deserve.”
Cooper and his producers, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mike Menchel, Dawn Ostroff and Jeremy Steckler, will be consulting with McDonough and family members of the Granite Mountain tragedy before filming begins.
Cooper is still in the midst of filming Black Mass, which stars Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch and Adam Scott, so it is unclear just when he will be getting into production on this follow-up movie.
Image courtesy of INFevents.com