If you’ve ever wondered why it takes 2 years between new Sherlock episodes, one has to understand just how popular and busy the two main stars have been, not to mention the packed schedules of co-creator/writers, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. We all know how crazy busy Benedict Cumberbatch is but his Sherlock co-star, Martin Freeman, is right up there the past couple of years starring in World’s End, The Hobbit, Fargo (TV series) and the upcoming, Captain America: Civil War.
Next up for the Sherlock star is to appear alongside 30 Rock‘s Tina Fey in a new satire comedy war film based on the memoirs of war reporter Kim Barker. Set to be released in theaters on March 4, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot will also star Alfred Molina (Roger & Val Have Just Got It, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Maverick, Spiderman 2), Margot Robbie (About Time, Wolf of Wall Street), Christopher Abbot (Girls) and Billy Bob Thornton (Fargo).
Fey plays Barker, a US journalist sent to Afghanistan and Pakistan on assignment during Operation Enduring Freedom. Freeman plays Scottish war photographer Iain MacKelpie. Based on Barker’s real-life 2011 memoir, “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days In Afghanistan And Pakistan”, who was working for The Chicago Tribune in the 2000s when she headed to Kabul and immediately makes a connection on her first embed with Marines.
For the film, Barker’s line of work was changed from her real-life print reporter job to a more visual cable-news foreign war correspondent. “Fewer shots of people typing, and then people reading what they type,” joked Fey.
Wanting to capture a tone that was reminiscent of two 1970 films, Robert Altman’s Korean War-centric M*A*S*H and Mike Nichols’ World War II movie Catch-22— “touchstones that dealt with horror and absurdity at the same time,” said Whiskey Tango Foxtrot screenwriter, Robert Carlock. Those are awful big shoes to fill, I’m afraid, as both M*A*S*H and Catch-22 are, perhaps, two of the best war movies ever made in my book. I’m thinking the book is still out on this one. You?
Produced by Fey, Saturday Night Live creator, Lorne Michaels, and Ian Bryce (Almost Famous, Saving Private Ryan, Twister) through Fey’s production company, Little Stranger, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot was filmed in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico in early 2015.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot will open in theaters nationwide on March 4, 2016.