Netflix original film War Machine, a wartime comedy brandishes a cast containing an array of notable names, headlined by Brad Pitt. While fans of Quentin Tarantino’s WWII apocrypha Inglourious Basterds will embrace the idea of Pitt once again playing a tough, gruff, though slightly askew military man, War Machine happens to be a satirical, quasi-biographical work based on a real life general who ran the Afghanistan War for two Presidents. Weeks after the streaming giant unveiled a character-centric teaser trailer, they close the month with a proper official trailer, showcasing the political travails that Pitt’s Afghanistan War general faces.
… And here is the original teaser, released on a week that Netflix used to unveil trailers for numerous high-profile original films.
Indeed, War Machine is a thinly-veiled adaptation of the 2012 non-fiction book The Operators by Michael Hastings in which the journalist recounts his Afghanistan War embedment with the head of Joint Special Operations Command General Stanley McCrystal during early 2010. With the War Machine trailers touching upon the quandaries that plagued U.S. forces during that war, Brad Pitt’s quasi-McCrystal “General Dan McMahon” is seen in defiantly sarcastic form as he’s handed the baton for the Afghanistan War. While that’s pretty much the extent of the brief clip, we can imagine that if the tenure of “McMahon” is anything like McCrystal’s, then it will be filled with triumph, tragedy and controversy, along with a few notably public spats with the executive branch.
War Machine also has quite the supporting cast, filled with known names like Tilda Swinton, Ben Kingsley, Scoot McNairy, Topher Grace, Anthony Michael Hall, Meg Tilly and Alan Ruck. The film also has up-and-coming young talent, as well. Will Poulter of The Revenant, We’re the Millers and The Maze Runner, was also briefly cast as clown Pennywise in the It reboot before a major upheaval. RJ Cyler was co-star of the acclaimed dramedy Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and will play Blue Ranger Billy in March’s Power Rangers reboot film. Lakeith Stanfield, who played a young Snoop Dogg in Straight Outta Compton and appears on FX series Atlanta, will also be seen in the upcoming live-action film adaptation of popular anime Death Note. Emory Cohen, formerly of TV’s Smash, was seen in drama Brooklyn and on the recent Netflix sci-fi series The OA.
War Machine is mostly the brainchild of Aussie helmer David Michôd, who wrote the script adapting Hastings’s book and directed the film. Michôd’s previous features include the 2014 Guy Pearce-starring crime drama The Rover, which he wrote based on a story from actor Joel Edgerton. Relevantly, the duo of Pearce and Edgerton were the featured stars in Michôd’s 2010 directorial breakthrough in drama Animal Kingdom. Star Brad Pitt also serves as a producer on the film.
War Machine gets ready to see Brad Pitt somewhat channel the Nazi-killin’ memory of Lt. Aldo Raine as a rough-edged general who’s been put in charge of one of America’s longest wars when the film debuts on Netflix on May 26.