'Long Road' Goes Hollywood

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ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Martha Raddatz has already received critical acclaim for her book, “The Long Road Home.” The book focuses on the deadly ambush against the United States’ 1st Cavalry Division in Sadr City, Iraq, that took place in 2004. The 24-hour fight resulted in eight American casualties and 60 injured soldiers, and marked the beginning of a full-blown Iraqi insurgency. The book simultaneously chronicles the experiences of the soldiers’ families back home in Fort Hood, Texas.

Martha Raddatz in Mosul, Iraq with Gen. David Petraeus. – Courtesy photo
Now, the book is going big time: Yeas & Nays has learned that the film rights to “The Long Road Home” have been purchased by Phoenix Pictures, whose CEO is famed film producer and executive Mike Medavoy. Medavoy is a co-founder of Orion Pictures and a former chairman of TriStar Pictures. Both sides have reached an agreement that awaits only their signatures.

Raddatz met Medavoy when she recently spoke with the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.
“He’s an amazing guy,” Raddatz told us. “He seems to really care about the book and wants to make a great movie.” Raddatz will be a consultant on the film.

With the deal still fresh, there are countless details to sort out, such as who will write the script, when filming might begin (and where), and which actors and actresses will play the various roles. Still, the movie certainly has Hollywood potential: The book has both action-packed scenes in Iraq and emotional moments back home with the Texas families.

Of course, we can’t help wondering which Hollywood stars might appear in the film. When Raddatz learned of the book deal, she wrote Lt. Col. Gary Volesky, who prominently figures in the book, and asked who he thought might play him in the movie. “Pee Wee Herman,” Volesky joked. Ely Brown, who produced the “Nightline” and “World News Tonight” pieces that Raddatz did for ABC News on the Sadr City battle, thought Nic Cage was a good fit for Volesky, Robert Downey Jr. should play Staff Sgt. Robert Miltenberger, James Woods would make a good Col. Robert Abrams and Matt Damon (or Mark Wahlberg) ought to play Sgt. 1st Class Jerry Swope.
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