Gary Faulkner, a Colorado man with no combat training or independent wealth, made at least 11 attempts to find and capture Osama bin Laden — some ending in Pakistan, one ending in Las Vegas, none conducted under the auspices of any government or military agency.
How does a nation honor such actions? A medal? Prison time? A movie starring Nicolas Cage with a title lifted from an old recruiting commercial?
Turns out, it’s the third thing.
Cage will portray a character based on Faulkner in “Army of One,” The Hollywood Reporter reported Wednesday. Larry Charles, the director behind “Borat,” “Bruno” and “The Dictator,” will helm the production, THR reported, with the backing of Hollywood moguls Harvey and Bob Weinstein.
The film will be “semi-scripted,” THR reports, and will be “loosely based” on a must-read 2010 GQ article on Faulkner by Chris Heath. Heath’s piece profiles its subject in all his patriotic, absurdist glory, including a bit about Faulkner’s 2008 mission that ended in Vegas with “his friend Tony Montana and a man they knew as Pickles.”
Cage’s scatter-shot filmography would appear to lend itself to such a role: He played a deeply troubled weapons dealer in 2005’s “Lord of War,” a fish-out-of-water FBI agent overcoming all odds (with Sean Connery’s help) in 1996’s “The Rock,” and an Army Ranger-turned-prisoner in 1997’s “Con Air,” during which he also ended a mission in Las Vegas under improbable circumstances.
Faulkner made the media rounds the same year the GQ piece came out, describing his multiple missions in an interview with David Letterman, who appears equal parts interested, befuddled and frightened:
(Key exchange, after the host asks his guest about the nautical route from California to Pakistan:
Faulkner: You just head in a direction and you’ll eventually hit land, and then from there, you go from there.
Letterman: [Jack Benny-style pause] I see … so you actually put some thought into this trip?)
Faulkner was arrested on a gun charge in late 2011, months after a Navy SEAL team achieved what the 50-plus-year-old former contractor could not.
No release date or filming schedule has been announced.