Wisely avoiding the red carpet scrum outside, Biden and Second Lady Jill slipped quietly into the reception for pre-screening chats with other attendees including cast member Brad Pitt and Gen. Colin Powell. The affair drew an eclectic mix of Washington officialdom including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, MPAA topper Chris Dodd, Gen. George Casey, White House Social Secretary Jeremy Bernard and hockey superstar Alex Ovechkin.
The pic’s director/writer David Ayer, a U.S. Navy veteran, was clearly savoring the experience. “This is a film that I wanted to get out of Los Angeles,” he explained. “I made it for the military, for the people who serve.” The fictional account of a beleaguered World War II tank crew, “Fury” offers a heavy dose of combat realism that drew thumbs up from Powell. “This is really how it is,” he said to Ayer during the screening.
“The film pays homage to our servicemen and women,” agreed Dwight Caines, prexy of Sony Pictures Entertainment Theatrical Marketing. Caines said current and former military personnel were engaged throughout the extensively researched project. That’s why the marketing campaign begins in D.C. and will embrace more than 35 military bases, he said.
Earlier in the day, the company visited wounded warriors at nearby Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a “humbling and awe inspiring experience,” said Ayer. Cast members on hand included Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal, Jim Parrack, Xavier Samuel, Jason Isaacs and Kevin Vance.
Also attending were Sony Pictures Chairman Amy Pascal, Columbia Pictures topper Doug Belgrad, and producers Ethan Smith, Bill Block, John Lesher, Sasha Shapiro and Alex Ott.
Next stop on the tour for the film’s participants was a meet-and-greet at Fort Benning, Ga.