More Glory, Less Basterd: ‘Fury’ Is Brad Pitt’s ‘Saving Private Ryan’

The trailer for Brad Pitt’s upcoming World War II drama Fury has been released and the David Ayer film looks like it will be the epitome of Oscar bait. The film follows a group of men in a tank unit fight in the name of American justice and freedom despite odds that are heavily stacked against them.

“You think it can’t get worse. It can. It will. The dying’s not done, the killing’s not done. I promised my crew a long time ago I’d keep them alive,” Pitt’s character, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy, says in the trailer.

The movie’s all-male cast co-stars Shia LaBeouf, Michael Pena, Logan Lerman, and Jon Bernthal. Those actors round out the five-man team led by Pitt that pilots a powerful Sherman army tank nicknamed Fury.

The video game and electronics conference E3 got a sneak peak at the movie earlier this month with a short making-of video with interviews from Ayer and the actors. The film promises lots of action scenes involving the Sherman tank piloted by the characters, as well as an examination of their relationships and how their psyches are impacted by war. “They’re exhausted, they’re tired, they’re grief-stricken, they’re combat fatigued. It’s really about a family under incredible stress,” Ayer says of the movie in the clip shown at E3. “The movie is like a character study with action sequences,” Pena said.

Showbiz 411 reported this week that Fury put out a casting call for re-shoots set to begin July 1 in Los Angeles, specifically looking for two actors to play SS officers. While the publication was a bit dramatic about the need to re-shoot some scenes, Indiewire pointed out that re-shoots are fairly common and could have been placed into the film’s schedule. It’s very possible that the work needed is minor and there’s no need to ring the alarm about the film making its scheduled November release.

Given the movie’s subject matter, cast, and release date, Fury is the epitome of Oscar bait. The film looks quite similar to Steven Spielberg’s 1998 World War II movie Saving Private Ryan, which is considered to be one of the best films ever made and one of the most realistic depictions of war ever caught on film. That movie was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and took home five.

Pitt himself has had success with World War II material in the past, with the 2009 Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds, in which he played the Southern Lt. Aldo Raine. That movie was nominated for several Oscars and Christoph Waltz took home the award for best supporting actor for his role as depraved Nazi Colonel Han Landa.

Pitt just came off his first Oscar win last year, though not for acting. He shared the Best Picture Oscar with others involved in producing 12 Years a Slave. Though Pitt is one of the best-known and acclaimed actors in Hollywood, he has yet to win an Academy Award for acting. Sony is trying to position Fury as the movie that will get him there.

More From Wall St. Cheat Sheet:

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS