Paul Greengrass, the award-winning director of Bloody Sunday and United 93, will turn his critical eye towards Iraq and how it became a disaster because of the stubborn cluelessness of the occupational administration led by the Americans.
Greengrass, whom I bumped into at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, has to finish The Bourne Ultimatum with Matt Damon first, but will then turn his attention to the Middle East.
"Specifically, I'm going to look at what went wrong in Iraq. Why is it in a worse state of chaos after the war has supposedly ended than it was before the coalition stormed into Baghdad?"
The movie, which could begin filming late this year or early next, will be based on the acclaimed book Imperial Life In The Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone, by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a former Baghdad bureau chief for the Washington Post.
Matt has previously said that he and Greengrass were planning to work together again after he filmed The Informant later this year. The Informant was expected to be directed by Steven Soderbergh in October, but it was reported this week that Soderbergh would be commencing a low budget project at the end of the year. Complicated.
Bob Woodward's State of Denial and Thomas Ricks’s Fiasco are excellent books about the policy, decision-making, and strategic aspects of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. But to understand how occupation turned into snafu, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s green zone is the book to read.
With a novelistic eye for detail and irony, Rajiv Chandrasekaran—the Washington Post’s former Baghdad bureau chief—cuts through the bureaucratic B.S., painting in bright colors how Iraq got so complicated and messed up. This could be a nonfiction version of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. No wonder Matt Damon is said to be negotiating for the movie rights.