Paul Greengrass Does Imperial Life in the Emerald City

Another day, another Hollywood movie about Iraq. The latest will be based on a non-fiction novel called “Imperial Life in the Emerald City” by Rajiv Chandrasekaran. The novel has been optioned by “Bourne” director Paul Greengrass, who plans to direct with Matt Damon possibly starring. The novel deals with the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and seeks to tell the truth about “what went wrong and why”, which is a tad presumptuous, considering the whole thing hasn’t even resolved itself yet. Isn’t that kind of like saying you’re going to tell “the truth” about why I failed my driver’s license test when I haven’t even taken the test yet? But I digress.

Via Chud, Greengrass says about the project:

It’s basically a film about the Iraq conflict; it’s about what went wrong and why. The answer to your absolutely excellent question is that what I want to do is take the sort of impulses that led to United 93 and play them out on a much bigger scale. Why? Not because I have vanity of scale — I could go and make a big movie tomorrow. It’s because it’s the biggest issue in our world today. As much as I believe that the cinema that I watch and you watch needed to address 9/11, it needs to address Iraq. And that demands scale. I think if you’re going to address that subject credibly, you have to be there. We only go there in soundbites on TV, but we have to be there for two hours and live it and understand it.

He makes a good point about not knowing anything about Iraq via soundbytes on TV, but then goes and torpedoes his own statement about how his 2-hour movie is going to show how it is.

I think Iraq is a tad more complicated than a 2-hour movie, Paul…

Paul Greengrass to Direct Imperial Life in the Emerald City