New featurette released for “Only the Brave” movie

(Originally published at 9 a.m. MDT September 12, 2017)

A new three and a half minute featurette has been released for the film about the Yarnell Hill Fire, Only the Brave, which is billed as the “true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots”.

On June 30, 2013 19 members of the firefighters on the crew were killed after the wind shifted and they were overrun by the fire.

In July a two and a half minute trailer was released, but this version adds a few scenes including very brief interviews with one of the producers, a former Granite Mountain Hotshot, and some of the leading actors. As the featurette ends, Josh Brolin who plays Crew Superintendent Eric Marsh says to the camera:

Every person who sees this movie is gonna want to wave a little bit longer to every firefighter they see.

As the vignette ends there is a graphic encouraging viewers to donate to the “Granite Mountain Fund”, which is an organization new to us. The fund’s web site describes their intentions…..

“The Philanthropic initiative of the film “Only the Brave,” drives donations to support firefighting as well as the towns and families connected to and impacted by hotshots and their work.

“Donations for the Granite Mountain Fund will benefit the following organizations:

  • Wildland Firefighter Foundation
  • Eric Marsh Foundation
  • Kevin Woyjeck Explorers Foundation
  • Prescott Firefighter’s Charities
  • California Firefighters Foundation
  • Carry the Load”

The film will open in theaters October 20.

New movie poster for “Only the Brave”

 

only the brave
“Only the Brave” opens in theaters October 20, 2017.

In about seven weeks the new movie “based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots” will be in theaters. In 2013, 19 members of the crew were entrapped and killed on the Yarnell Hill Fire south of Prescott, Arizona.

Not many many movies have been built around wildland firefighters. There was Red Skies of Montana that in 1952 introduced the myth of exploding trees, and Firestorm brought us Howie Long in 1998. Always was a good movie, but it was not really about wildland fire. So, many of us will be skeptical while waiting for Only the Brave to open on October 20.

However, there are reasons to be optimistic. Black Label Media which produced the film also made the award winning La La Land (Golden Globe Best Picture, Musical or Comedy), a story that could not be more different from Only the Brave, but it at least indicates that skilled personnel are employed by the company.

Molly Smith, an executive with Black Label, said it’s the film she’s most proud of. On her Instagram page she wrote:

We hope you feel, when you see it, as patriotic and proud as we have to have some of the greatest firefighters in the world constantly putting themselves out there for our well being. The ones who have lost their lives we honor respectfully every day, and the ones who wake up covered with dirt and ash and stale coffee on their breath (and always a ribbing laughter) we salute you again and again and again. I hope you feel we have represented you well.

The film has quite a few well-known actors, including Josh Brolin (plays Eric Marsh), Jeff Bridges (Duane Steinbrink), Jennifer Connelly (Amanda Marsh), Andie McDowell, Miles Teller (Brendan McDonough), and James Badge Dale.

In an Entertainment Weekly interview, Mr. Brolin, who for a while was a volunteer firefighter in Arizona, talked about how the actors in the movie still maintain regular contact:

This was different, probably because of the subject matter. Nobody’s willing to let it go.

Trailer released for the movie about the Granite Mountain Hotshots

The film is due to open October 20.

The Director of the film about the Granite Mountain Hotshots just recently completed the final edits and has released the official trailer (above).

Supposedly it tells the story of the 19 firefighters that were entrapped and killed on the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona June 30, 2013. One crewmember who was not with the others at the time of the burnover and survived, Brendan McDonough, is listed in the credits as a Creative Consultant.

The images shown here are from the website and the trailer.

scene film Only the Brave

The name of the film has changed, from No Exit, to Granite Mountain, and finally to Only The Brave: Based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. The release date has been pushed from September to October 20.

A number of books and articles have been written about the tragedy, but the producers say the film is based on an article published in GQ Magazine titled No Exit, by Sean Flynn.

scene film Only the Brave

GQ published an article today featuring an interview with the Director, Joseph Kosinski. Here’s an excerpt in which he talks about casting:

..The two roles I cast first were Eric Marsh and Brendan McDonough. Josh Brolin was always at the top of my list. I flew out to Asheville, North Carolina, where he was filming another movie, and sat down with him on a Saturday afternoon. I talked him through the vision I had for this film, and the importance of this story, and he got it instantly. He had actually worked as a volunteer firefighter at one point in his life, and he had lived in Prescott, Arizona, at one point. He felt an instant connection to the material and the story; that got him interested.

Before production began, the director hired two former members of Granite Mountain who put the 20 actors playing the parts of firefighters through a two-week “Hotshot camp”.

Here’s another excerpt from the GQ article about the reaction to the film from the Granite Mountain family members.

I just finished the film two weeks ago, so we’re just starting to show it to the family members now. The reaction so far has been everything I would have hoped and more—which, to me, is almost the most important thing. I believe so wholeheartedly in [the Granite Mountain Hotshots’] story being a heroic one, and one that needs to be told. Of all the opinions on a film, [the family members’ reaction] is one that truly matters to me on the deepest level. And so far, every reaction I’ve gotten from the family members is that we did our job.

scene film Only the Brave

cast film Only the Brave

 

The film’s website has more information.

“Granite Mountain” film to begin production Monday

It will be filmed in New Mexico.

Granite Mountain cast
Granite Mountain cast. IMDB.

The film about the Granite Mountain Hotshots is set to begin production on Monday, and will attempt to tell the story of the 20-person crew of wildland firefighters that were all killed on the Yarnell Hill Fire in 2013 except for one survivor, Brendan McDonough.

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has hired a very impressive cast including Josh Brolin, Jeff Bridges, Andie MacDowell, Jennifer Connelly, and Taylor Kitsch. (IMDB has a full list of the cast.)

Below is an excerpt from an AP article:

The producers behind a movie about the elite firefighting team that lost 19 members in a 2013 Arizona wildfire assure the story focuses on the firefighters’ dedication, not the way in which they died.

The movie will be filming in Santa Fe, Los Alamos and several other cities in New Mexico through early September. It is slated to open in theaters in September 2017.

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura said the plot will focus on Eric Marsh, who led the crew, and Brendan McDonough, the only surviving hotshot crew member. He said it will not focus on tragedy or the exact details of the fire.

“This movie is about the lives of these people and what they were trying to put on the line, and what it meant to them to do what they were doing and what it meant to the community to have them doing it,” he said.

Brolin will play Marsh, who was superintendent of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew, with Connolly playing his wife, Amanda Marsh.

The movie will be released in September 22, 2017.

Production of film about Yarnell Hill Fire to begin June 13

The film will have a cast loaded with stars.

The film about the Yarnell Hill Fire that has been in the planning and casting stages for months will begin production on Monday, June 13. Much of it will be shot near Santa Fe, New Mexico. If the director does as well at making the film as he did at hiring a cast, it should be a hit. The actors announced so far include Josh Brolin, Andie MacDowell, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Kitsch, James Badge Dale, and Ben Hardy.

Below is an excerpt from an article at AZCentral:

…“This movie’s not about tragedy,” said producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. “This movie is about the lives of these people and what they were trying to put on the line, and what it meant to them to do what they were doing and what it meant to the community to have them doing it.”

That’s important to Amanda Marsh, the widow of Eric Marsh, who was killed in the fire. She will be played by Jennifer Connelly; Josh Brolin plays Eric.

“I want the world to understand what it is like to be a hotshot and what it is like to be a hotshot wife,” she said. “Neither is easy. Both come with their own sense of deep responsibility and commitment to the job. I hope Eric’s personality comes through and that people get a sense of who Eric was.”…

Producer di Bonaventura intends to concentrate on four or five people, but said two characters drive the film — Eric Marsh, the Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew Superintendent, and Brendan McDonough, the sole survivor. He does not plan to concentrate in detail on exactly what led to the crew of 19 firefighters being overrun by fire and killed — or why.

More from AZCentral:

…The tragedy will not be ignored, of course. It’s just not the focus of the film. Di Bonaventura compared it to “The Perfect Storm,” the 2000 film in which George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg play commercial fisherman on a doomed trip. “The event they lost their lives in in that movie is probably, I don’t know, I’m guessing it’s five minutes of that movie, a two-hour movie,” he said. “It’s very similar here. It’s sort of a blue-collar-value kind of job, very Americana.”

“How they do what they do is very fascinating,” he said. “It’s unbelievably committed, it is hardcore physical exertion. It takes a real strong will to go through with the experience, and that is the thing that I hope people come away from the movie with, the appreciation of what it takes to do this. And I don’t mean necessarily the physical skill, but on an emotional level, what is the commitment? That is why we have taken on this story, is because we are awed by what they do and how they do it. ”…

Lionsgate, the studio producing the film, which has been re-titled “Granite Mountain”, has selected a September 22, 2017 release date.

Release date set for film about Yarnell Hill Fire

Lionsgate, the studio producing the film about the Yarnell Hill Fire, has selected a September 22, 2017 release date. With a screenplay written by Ken Nolan and Eric Warren, it will attempt to tell the story of the 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots that were killed on the fire near Prescott, Arizona in 2013. The name of the film was recently changed from “No Exit” to “Granite Mountain”.

It has an impressive cast lined up to be directed by Joseph Kosinski, starring Josh Brolin, Andie MacDowell, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Kitsch, James Badge Dale, and Ben Hardy. At least some of the movie will be filmed in New Mexico.

Wildfire Today has learned that the producers of the film are interested in the posters about the 13/18 Watchout Situations. Below is an example of one that was hand-colorized by a member of the El Cariso Hotshots in 1972.