After 15 years since Heaven & Earth, why another Vietnam movie? Why now?
Why now? Because of Iraq. That's a major reason. I had no intention of making a fourth Vietnam movie at all. But this last year -- you know my feelings about the Iraq war of course -- I think the time has unfortunately come back around to remember events like My Lai.
Why My Lai? Because it's a great story. I was [serving] in Vietnam at the time, and it really made an impression and I think it changed the course of the war to a large degree. Americans were shocked, as well as the Vietnamese. You have to take into account that many Vietnamese villagers were neutral. It turned many neutral villagers against us. It was an interesting turning point.