Brad Pitt To Play General Stanley McChrystal In Afghan War Movie


The book that the late Michael Hastings wrote based on the time he spent following former Afghan War Commander General Stanley McChrystal is set to become a movie starring Brad Pitt in the role of the General who ultimately was forced to resigned due to his comments about civilian and military superiors:

There are few modern military characters as outsized as Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the former commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

You might recall Michael Hastings’ incendiary 2010 Rolling Stone profile of McChrystal that exposed the general and his staff’s disdain for their superiors, including National Security Advisor James L. Jones, Vice President Biden and President Obama, and ultimately prompted McChrystal to resign.

Now McChrystal will get a movie treatment worthy of that reputation.

Australian director David Michod, who was behind the colorful indie gangster pic ”Animal Kingdom” a few years back, will write and direct the McChrystal military drama “The Operators,” producers announced Monday. Starring in the film? None other than Brad Pitt.

Pitt’s production company, Plan B, will produce the film with New Regency and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment.

The movie is based on Hastings’ 2011 book “The Operators,” which expanded on his Rolling Stone article, “The Runaway General.” (Hastings died last June in a car crash in Los Angeles.)

I didn’t read Hasting’s book so I can’t speak on whether or not it will make good movie material. It will be interesting to see what they come up with, though, especially since we really haven’t seen any movies based on the Afghan War to date.

No word on whether they’ll be seeking a sponsorship from Bud Light Lime.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. dazedandconfused says:

    Been reading his book, “My Share of The Task”. The picture that is emerging is one of an exceptional Clever / Industrious (Hammerstein system) officer.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    McChrystal’s mistake was not in bitching about a superior – everyone needs to be able to blow off steam about their boss. It was doing it in print. It’s a shame it cost him his career and cost us a good officer.

    However, if you are going to be a character in a movie, might as well be Brad Pitt. Much more flattering than Steve Buscemi.

  3. DC Loser says:

    I would quibble about no movie about the Afghan War to date. Restrepo, the documentary about a fire base in eastern Afghanistan, was as real as it gets. Parts of Zero Dark Thirty took place in Afghanistan.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    @DC Loser:

  5. @DC Loser:

    @michael reynolds:

    Yes you’re both correct. My omission.

  6. Tyrell says:

    Best portrayals of generals in movies:
    Jeff Daniels as George Washington, (“The Crossing”, tv movie), Charlton Heston as General Jackson (“The Buccaneer”, an interesting, accurate portrayal), John Wayne as General Grant (“How the West Was Won”, short but effective and believable), Tom Berenger as Teddy Roosevelt (“Rough Riders”, Teddy is always fascinating), Gregory Peck as General Douglas MacArthur (“MacArthur” , a monumental work), and tops is, of course, George C. Scott as General Patton (“Patton”, incomparable; Karl Malden gives a great performance also as General Omar Bradley). One other performance was Lawrence Olivier as General Burgoyne (“Devils Disciple”, one of the best Revolutionary War movies, a great performance as the British general)

  7. DC Loser says:

    I vote for Sterling Hayden as Jack D. Ripper.

  8. Tyrell says:

    @DC Loser: I loved that movie and watch it every comes on. Timeless classic.

  9. CB says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Rewatching the Sopranos recently. During the episode when Tony B (Buscemi) gets released from prison after 20 years, someone remarks that he was such a stud back in his day. It would take a hell of a fall from the ugly tree to go from stud to Buscemi. Had to laugh at a clever little bit of writing. Carry on.

  10. dazedandconfused says:

    A third of the way into General Stan’s book, 130 pages of small, close print, he allows himself his first four letter word. He characterized his impression of Bremer’s and Sanchez’s operation in Saddam’s palace, what Tom Ricks dubbed “The Children’s Crusade”, complete with a 25 year old Christian college grad who has never studied finance setting up Iraq’s financial system as…insane. “Holy shit!”, sez the general.


    Got a feeling it will be the last. “Monk of War” and all that.

  11. abutom says:

    When Pat Tillman walked away from an 11 million dollar football contract and took a job paying $17,000 a year fighting for his country. The same people who wanted the military to be tried for homicide in the friendly fire tragedy spit all over Tillman. They call themselves anti war but they really are anti win. McChrystal was thinking of Tillman’s family first. Never forget he was responsible for the lives of 100,000 troops.
    We have a president who could not protect four and turned a deaf ear to their calls for a broken arrow. The death of that reporter was no accident. he was working on an expos`e and was afraid to use his own car. Very soon the draft is coming back. There is no other choice. McChrystal could make a great president. Split second decisions in a nuclear war are vital to the survival of the USA. The Russians are here, The Red Chinese are here and Al Queda is here. The Democrats are here.
    We won’t be the first country to go to the battlefield in taxis and a business suit. Just ask the French about the Paris draft. Ask the Iraqis about the Kuwait invasion night club draft. I hope we get a good look at McChrystal from an American employer’s eyes. Is he the best man for the job? Can he rebuild quickly and recover quickly?
    Can he save lives? Happy Ressurection everybody.

  12. abutom says: