Arms & The Dude sounds like it could be a collaborative biopic of Lou Ferrigno and Jeff Bridges. And while that would undoubtedly be pretty awesome, we’re going to have to settle for reality, in which that is the title of an upcoming movie from The Hangover and Old School director Todd Phillips.
Deadline says that “talks are about to get underway” with potential stars Shia LaBeouf and Jesse Eisenberg to headline the film, which is based on a true story chronicled in a Rolling Stone piece by writer Guy Lawson. It follows two pot-smoking arms dealers in their early 20s who get contracted by the U.S. government to supply weapons to allies in Afghanistan, but despite beating out giant businesses like Lockheed and General Dynamics to score a $300 million contract, they ultimately find themselves in way over their heads. The article came out in 2011, Phillips has been developing it as a film for years, and now he’ll direct it as well as produce alongside his Hangover star Bradley Cooper, with whom he started a new production company.
Putting aside LaBeouf’s spate of weird behavior earlier this year, I still think he’s a solid actor with a lot of potential. And Eisenberg seems like a fantastic choice to play a dedicated, driven guy who upends an entire industry from the other side of his computer (The Social Network, anyone?). Jonah Hill was reportedly circling one of the lead roles earlier this summer, and since these talks are reportedly “about to get underway,” it’s still possible that someone else could end up starring in Arms & The Dude. (What a great title.) But the team of LaBeouf and Eisenberg is appealing to me, and after reading the whole story, it’s one of those “truth is crazier than fiction” pieces that Phillips won’t have to exaggerate too much in order to pull off a wild, entertaining movie.
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