Alcon Entertainment is developing a drama based on events around the 1968 Tet Offensive. The Vietnam War spy drama is titled Perfume River.
Alcon optioned the rights to the life story of Vietnam veteran and former Marine first lieutenant Alexander Wells. The screenplay is being written by Stephen Peters, who began his career writing the 1983 novel cum HBO movie The Park Is Mine starring Tommy Lee Jones. Retired Marine Corps Col. Myron Harrington is a consultant on the movie.
Alcon’s co-presidents Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson are producing. Jack C. Merrick is executive producer. The plan is for the script to go out soon.
The Tet Offensive was one of the most important campaigns in the Vietnam War. It was an all-out North Vietnamese and Vietcong offensive that targetted every major urban centre and military base in Southern Vietnam. The offensive was beaten back, after fierce fighting.
The Americans and their allies defeated the communists forces but the Offensive resulted in Americans becoming disillusioned with the war. Ultimately, it led to increasing war-weariness among the American public and pressure to end US involvement in Vietnam.
The movie will open at the Quantico Marine Officer Basic School in 1968 when a contingent of South Vietnamese marines joined a unit of 200 American soldiers. During the training, Wells befriends two Vietnamese officers. One of them is secretly a master spy who rejoins the North Vietnamese army and becomes a colonel when they return.
The colonel leads North Vietnam troops into battle against the South Vietnamese and Americans during the battle for the impregnable Hue Citadel Fortress on the Perfume River. Hue saw some of the fiercest fighting of the war. Wells and his friends learn of each other’s presence and are forced to choose between duty and friendship.
Ultimately the communists lost the battle but the war’s human cost had a negative effect on U.S. public support.
Wells and his wife have been working since 1992 to help U.S. veterans reconcile with the soldiers they fought against at Hue.
This will be the first military-themed film by Alcon, which has a long-standing output deal with Warner Bros. Alcon has produced The Blind Side, Dolphin Tale, Beautiful Creatures, The 33, Point Break, Prisoners and Transcendence. The comedy Bastards is in post-production. A Blade Runner sequel is in pre-production.
Screenwriter Peters’ credits include Wild Things, starring Denise Richards and Neve Campbell. He’s represented by The Warden Group.