Film: "Charlie Wilson's War"

"Charlie Wilson's War" Movie Profile


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(Photo left) Oscar® winners TOM HANKS as Congressman Charlie Wilson and JULIA ROBERTS as socialite Joanne Herring join Academy Award®-winning director MIKE NICHOLS and Emmy Award-winning screenwriter AARON SORKIN to tell the raucous true story of the largest covert operation in history: "Charlie Wilson's War". Photo Credit: Francois Duhamel. Copyright: © 2007 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Release Date: December 21, 2007 (release date moved up to Dec. 21. See below for news)

Cast: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Ned Beatty, Om Puri

Genre: Drama
Directed by: Mike Nichols
Screenplay by: Aaron Sorkin
Based on the Book by: George Crile
Producers: Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman
Executive Producers: Celia Costas, Jeff Skoll

TOM HANKS as Congressman Charlie Wilson in the film that tells the raucous true story of the largest covert operation in history: "Charlie Wilson's War". Photo Credit: Francois Duhamel.Copyright: © 2007 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Charlie Wilson's War is the true story of how a playboy congressman, a renegade CIA agent and a beautiful Houston socialite joined forces to lead the largest and most successful covert operation in history. Their efforts contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, with consequences that reverberate throughout the world today.

Oscar® winners Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman team with Academy Award®-winning director Mike Nichols and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin to bring George Crile's best-selling book to the screen.

Charlie Wilson (Hanks) was a bachelor congressman from Texas who had a habit of showing up in hot tubs with strippers and cocaine. His "Good Time Charlie" exterior, however, masked an extraordinary mind, a deep sense of patriotism and a passion for the underdog, and in the early 1980s the underdog was Afghanistan--which had just been brutally invaded by the Russians.

Charlie's longtime friend and patron and sometime lover was Joanne Herring (Roberts), one of the wealthiest women in Texas and a virulent anti-communist. Believing the American response to the Russian invasion was anemic at best, she prods Charlie into doing more for the Mujahideen (Afghan freedom fighters).

Charlie's partner in this uphill endeavor is CIA Agent Gust Avrakotos (Hoffman), a blue-collar operative in a company of Ivy League blue bloods. Together, the three of them--Charlie, Joanne and Gust--travel the world to form unlikely alliances among the Pakistanis, Israelis, Egyptians, arms dealers, law makers and a belly dancer.

Their success was remarkable. Funding for covert operations against the Soviets went from $5 million to $1 billion annually. The Red Army retreated out of Afghanistan. When asked how a group of peasants was able to deliver such a decisive blow to the army of a superpower, Pakistani President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq responded simply, "Charlie did it."


Universal Pictures has accelerated the release date of "Charlie Wilson's War" by four days, moving the film from Tuesday, December 25, 2007, to Friday, December 21, 2007.

Adam Fogelson, Universal Pictures' President of Marketing and Distribution, stated, "We saw an opportunity to advance the release of this film and are taking advantage of that. We've seen how strongly "Charlie Wilson's War" plays and can't wait to get it in front of audiences everywhere. We are confident that their enthusiastic word-of-mouth will be one of the things that helps us continue playing strongly through this terrific moviegoing period."

The film, starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman, tells the outrageous true story of how one congressman who loved a good time, one Houston socialite who loved a good cause and one CIA agent who loved a good fight conspired to bring about the largest covert operation in history. Director Mike Nichols, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman bring George Crile's best-selling book to the screen.

Universal Pictures Presents -- In Association with Relativity Media and Participant Productions -- A Playtone Production of a Mike Nichols Film: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Charlie Wilson's War," starring Amy Adams and Ned Beatty. Music for the film is by James Newton Howard.

The costume designer is Albert Wolsky; co-producer is Mike Haley. The visual effects supervisor is Richard Edlund, ASC. The film is edited by John Bloom and Antonia Van Drimmelen; the production designer is Victor Kempster. The director of photography is Stephen Goldblatt, ASC, BSC. Executive producers are Celia Costas, Ryan Kavanaugh and Jeff Skoll. The film is produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman. "Charlie Wilson's War" is based on the book by George Crile, and it is from a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin. The film is directed by Mike Nichols.

About Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios ( Universal Studios is part of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi.

(C)2007 Universal Studios.
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Nov. 30, 2007 /PRNewswire/ --

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From Publishers Weekly: Put the Tom Clancy clones back on the shelf; this covert-ops chronicle is practically impossible to put down. No thriller writer would dare invent Wilson, a six-feet-four-inch Texas congressman,liberal on social issues but rabidly anti-Communist, a boozer, engaged in serial affairs and wheeler-dealer of consummate skill. Only slightly less improbable is Gust Avrakotos, a blue-collar Greek immigrant who joined the CIA when it was an Ivy League preserve and fought his elitist colleagues almost as ruthlessly as he fought the Soviet Union in the Cold War's waning years. In conjunction with President Zia of Pakistan in the 1980s, Wilson and Arvakotos circumvented most of the barriers to arming the Afghan mujahideen-distance, money, law and internal CIA politics, to name a few. Their coups included getting Israeli-modified Chinese weapons smuggled into Afghanistan, with the Pakistanis turning a blind eye,and the cultivation of a genius-level weapons designer and strategist named Michael Vickers, a key architect of the guerrilla campaign that left the Soviet army stymied. The ultimate weapon in Afghanistan was the portable Stinger anti-aircraft missile, which eliminated the Soviet's Mi-24 helicopter gunships and began the train of events leading to the collapse of the U.S.S.R. and its satellites. A triumph of ruthless ability over scruples, this story has dominated recent history in the form of blowback: many of the men armed by the CIA became the Taliban's murderous enforcers and Osama bin Laden's protectors. Yet superb writing from Crile, a 60 Minutes producer, will keep even the most vigorous critics of this Contra-like affair reading to the end.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal
A longtime Sixty Minutes producer investigates the expenditure of what eventually amounted to $1 billion a year to support Afghanistan's Mujahideen in their battle against the Soviets.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

• Paperback: 560 pages
• Publisher: Grove Press (April 22, 2004)
• Language: English

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