Dear Joel Silver,
Finishing the incredibly excellent Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill, my first thought was "Holy Shit, this is mind blowing." Which, coincidentally, is exactly what I said when I first saw your Die Hard. Putting those two facts together, I've come up with the following pitches for some very major motion pictures, each based on facts found in Scahill's book.
I'm sure if you read Blackwater yourself, you would come up with a bunch more. The book is chock full of stories documenting what's going on at the company's headquarters down there in The Great Dismal Swamp (seriously, you can't make this stuff up.) Anyway, here are my pitches, happy to meet at The Ivy and discuss further:
Movie Idea #1: Coup de Ville de Etat
Elevator Pitch: Rush Hour meets JFK
Recognizing that maintaining an enormous private army run by far right wing Christian fundamentalists is probably not the best thing for our nation, newly elected President Chris Tucker attempts to cut off Blackwater's funding. But Blackwater has other ideas. The climatic battle in the Great Dismal Swap finds Secret Service Agent Jackie Chan exacting a terrible vengeance.
Movie Idea #2 Mad Mama
Elevator Pitch: Erin Brokovich meets Kill Bill
When her son dies needlessly in Iraq on a mission, Frances McDormand sues the company that sent her son into harms way without proper support (support would mean spending money on things like armored vehicles and extra men. And Blackwater is in the business of making money, not spending it.) When Bush's Justice Department sides with Blackwater in blocking the mother's suit, she promptly heads down to the Great Dismal Swamp and kicks some serious ass.
Movie Idea #3: Hola Baghdad
Elevator Pitch: Fast Food Nation meets The Dirty Dozen
Indie longshot: When security in Iraq gets expensive for American companies, they do what American companies love to do -- outsource. Promised $4,000 a month when he first signs on, our hero, a recently retired Columbian cop (Javier Bardem) arrives in the war zone to find he's being paid less that a quarter of that. Enraged, he and his fellow soldiers - many of whom worked for the dictator Pinochet - head to the Great Dismal Swamp to settle the score.
Movie Idea #4: Let's Get 'Em
Elevator Pitch: Pogo meets Rambo
Animated feature. When the critters of the Great Dismal Swamp discover what's going on down near Possum's Hollar, they team up and destroy the evil invaders. (Note: proposed scene of cute, rabid warthogs devouring the Salvadoran death squad veterans may have to be cut in order to get the "G" rating. We can always make it an extra on the DVD.)
Movie Idea #5: Going Down
Elevator Pitch: The Perfect Storm meets Dead Man Walking
Fed by U.S, tax dollars, Blackwater continues to grow like a poisonous weed, spreading armies throughout the world whose actions escape scrutiny, whose soldiers act outside the realm of accountability, and whose innumerable victims continue to suffer with no recourse to the law. Meanwhile, America, democracy and justice all continue their descent to the bottom of the Great Dismal Swamp.