The Money Run or in Gareth Lewis’ words:
“A $20 million helicopter heist in the middle of the Vietnam War. What could possibly go wrong?”
The Money Run is a book Gareth Lewis is working to turn into a movie. If it happens, Gareth will be directing it and Damian will star in it. The good news is we have a chance to make it possible!
We were quite intrigued about Gareth’s next project when Damian revealed in his SAG-AFTRA interview last year that he would produce his brother’s next movie.
And Damian tweeted about The Money Run yesterday!
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) July 4, 2017
As soon as I saw the tweet (and I saw it in real time!) I visited The Money Run Indiegogo Page and researched the book on which the script will be based. It is my pleasure to share with you some information about the book, the movie project, the crowdfunding and more importantly, how we all can give a hand!
The Money Run is a book written by Richard Steele, who, according to the short bio on his personal website, “flew as a pilot in the CH 53 helicopter for the Marine Corps in Viet Nam, and has first hand experience flying the money run on Okinawa. He retired from the Corps with 27 years of service on active duty and the reserves. He lives in northern California and enjoys tinkering on old cars, writing and avoiding work.”
If you want to check out the book, it is available both as a paperback and as an e-book on Amazon. But, in the meantime, here is the blurb Gareth Lewis gives on The Money Run Indiegogo Page so you can all find out about what “The Money Run” means. I admit did not have the slightest idea until I read about it.
“In 1971, the US military delivered their payroll on Okinawa in unmarked bills on a single helicopter. The payroll flight was called The Money Run. Inspired by real events, and based on the award-winning novel by former Vietnam helicopter pilot, PR Steele, THE MONEY RUN tells the story of how a group of disillusioned helicopter pilots pull off the biggest heist in American history, in the midst of the Vietnam War.”
The book is the recipient of the Winner of the Northern California Publishers and Authors (NCPA) 22nd Annual Book Awards Contest for Fiction.
From Book to Screen
It seems someone that really likes the book gives it to Gareth saying he should turn it into a movie, and if he does not, someone else certainly will! Gareth, upon reading the book, agrees. The good news is that he has been able to get the rights to the book from Richard Steele. And he and his team have now kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds so they can have a script written.
The Crowdfunding and The Perks
Here is Gareth’s pitch for crowdfunding:
“In order to bring this remarkable story to the screen the way it should be, we at Flare Pictures – my small independent production company in London – are raising money early on to create a script that we hope will not only attract a stellar cast, but also remain true to the source material and the men who fought in Vietnam. This is your chance to get in on the ground floor, on an unforgettable ride.
For anyone who becomes a Money Runner, there will be a range of great perks, as listed in the PERKS section and a chance to be part of something truly great.”
Yes, THE PERKS! Please visit The Money Run IndieGoGo Page, learn about the project, check out different levels of contributions you can make along with the corresponding PERKS! You can always securely fund the project on Indiegogo page. And don’t forget to see The Money Run video pitch!
I find Gareth’s words about why we should fund The Money Run quite important:
“Because this is going to be the real deal. This is a story about a group of men who have been mistreated by the military while fighting in a war that was a lie. Sound familiar? Some of them have sustained injuries, some are in deep trauma, and others have been told they are no longer needed just months before they qualify for a full military pension. So this story MATTERS.
However, that is not the only reason this script needs to get written. The other reason is that it is a truly amazing tale that, once on the big (or small – it will be amazing regardless of screen size) screen, it will be an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride that will make you gasp, laugh and sigh (maybe even cry – who knows?). It’s going to have some kick-ass helicopter combat scenes, some serious Vietnam ‘In Country’ detail and a rip-roaring 1960s/70s soundtrack.
The last feature film I made was called THE BAKER, known as ASSASSIN IN LOVE in America and I have since written several others, two of which are currently in pre-production or development. I’ve also written for network TV in the States. So I know what I’m doing, and so do the rest of the Flare Pictures team.”
You can visit Flare Pictures, and hey, you know one team member very well, and you also know he knows what he is doing, too.
As I visited the website, I noticed Damian is producing another film, Falling Stars, written and directed by Gareth, along with Gail Egan who produced some of my favorite films including Constant Gardener, Vera Drake, Mr. Turner and Our Kind of Traitor. Maybe this was the film Damian said he was producing last year at SAG-AFTRA interview. And I believe Lewis brothers, who gave us the quirkily hilarious The Baker, can certainly give us the “true romance for the snapchat generation.” 😀
Back to The Money Run and in particular to crowdfunding!
As someone who believes example is better than precept, I have already funded the project.
There is no small amount and a $10 donation makes you an “Official Money Runner.” If you want to fly higher, you can become a “Ground Staff” for $25, a “Door Runner” for $50, a “Crew Chief” for $100 or a “Pilot” for $500. And it goes without saying the more you donate, the bigger perks you get including a digital copy of the script, a Money Run tote bag, an official Money Run photo autographed by Damian and Gareth or a special “thank you” video made by Damian! Please note that the target amount $12K is a flexible goal, that is, the campaign will receive all funds raised even if they do not reach their target. And, I know everyone cannot afford to donate to a project like this. However, even then, you can still show some love to The Money Run! You can share the crowdfunding link on social media or embed it on your website/blog like we do.
Finally, let us take a quick look at the part Damian will play if The Money Run movie happens! Here is Gareth talking about the cast:
“The way this works is that if we raise our target amount, then there will be a great script at the end of it, of that you can be certain. And a great script attracts great talent. We already have Damian Lewis on board to play Captain Dan Burton, based on the book alone!”
YAY! Well, we all know how things turned out the last time Damian played a Captain, don’t we? 😀
Having said that, Captain Burton seems to be a very different character than Captain Winters. He is a man who “has just been told that he is no longer required in the US Marine Corps, just months from securing his full military pension.” He is probably very pissed off and is out there for revenge. This is a part that can give Damian yet another opportunity to demonstrate his incredible range as an actor. I, for some reason, imagine some hybrid of Nicholas Brody and Henry VIII.
We hope all goes well with the campaign, and that we ultimately get to see The Money Run on big or small screen. Best of Luck, Gareth and Damian!