We doubt Oliver Stone would entrust just anyone with the adaptation of a novel he wrote when he was 19. But news arrives via Deadline that he has handed it his son, Sean, who will make his directorial debut.
The younger Stone has, according to Deadline, been working on the adaptation for around 16 years, since his own time as a teenager. Oliver Stone wrote the book while he was returning from his first trip to Vietnam, where he had been working as a teacher. It was informed by his decision to return to the country as part of the US Army, serving two tours and winning various medals. He tried to get it published then, but faced rejection, even throwing some of the pages away, but pieced it together when his growing clout meant companies were scrambling to handle the book.
Sean Stone has apparently shifted the timescale of the story to focus on a teenager leaving college to enlist in the Army post 9/11, despite his parents' concerns. "My own high school and early college years informed the script, and helped it evolve from the time period my father set it in," Sean Stone tells Deadline. "The themes included understanding my own relationship to my parents, my first crush, and the backdrop of 9/11 and the Iraq War. My dad wrote the novel before he went off the war, and so his was a different interpretation from what he wrote later, more surreal like Apocalypse Now (1979) than Platoon (1986). I did not go to war, so mine was not a veteran's journey, but more one of a young man on an internal journey, coming into adulthood."
Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films are providing the backing, and the cameras should be rolling this April. Oliver's latest, Snowden, is out in cinemas now.