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‘Flags of Our Fathers,’ William Broyles Jr., Paul Haggis

Adapted screenplay contender

DISTRIB/RELEASE DATE: DreamWorks Pictures and Warner Bros./Oct. 20

ADAPTED FROM: The book “Flags of Our Fathers” by James Bradley with Ron Powers.

STORYLINE: Three soldiers pictured in the famous photo of the flag-raising over Iwo Jima struggle with their feelings when they’re pronounced heroes and sent on a nationwide tour to raise money for the war effort.

ABOUT THE SCRIPT: Producer Steven Spielberg first commissioned a screenplay from Broyles. When Clint Eastwood came on as director, they asked Haggis to tackle the material. “It was ridiculously difficult, and I told them I had about a 10% chance of making it work, and for some reason they decided to go with me anyway,” Haggis says.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Creating unique voices for these characters who came out of the pages of history. The one character I made up was the PR man who lays it on the line for them. At first he looks pretty heinous, but then I give him the most compelling argument of the movie.”

BREAKTHROUGH IDEA: “I had to let go of trying to tell the story logically or chronologically, and just stitch together the emotional moments from one time period to the next, without caring what events took place first.”

CHOICE LINES: Spoken by Capt. Severance: “Every jackass thinks he knows what war is. Especially those who’ve never been in one. We’d like it nice and simple; good vs. evil, heroes and villains. And there are always plenty of both. But more often than not, they just aren’t who we think they are.”

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