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Remember When The World Almost Ended?? Fox 2000 Approaches ONE MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT...

Merrick here...
Fox 2000 has secured the rights to Michael Dobb's book ONE MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT: KENNEDY, KHRUSHCHEV AND CASTRO ON THE BRINK OF NUCLEAR WAR. for producer John Davis (I, ROBOT, THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX remake, AvP). You can find the book HERE. This one's about The Cuban Missile Crisis. One of my college professors worked in the D.C...during that time (October 1962). He shared vivd remembrances about going to bed at night, unsure if he...or the world...would ever see another sunrise. He talked about how carrying such weight irrevocably changes the way a person sees the life, people and the world around them. If the film can capture that kind of atmosphere and those kind of emotions...this could be something pretty damn potent.
At the height of those tensions, a U-2 pilot took off from Alaska, lost his bearings and ventured inside the Soviet Union, just as each side was looking for provocation to start a nuclear war. "Buried in that book is this white-knuckle four-hour flight that frames out the most dangerous moment in the history of the world," Davis said. "As Fidel Castro was trying to convince Khrushchev to let these missiles fly, this pilot is (initially) unaware he's flown off course. The Soviets think they're being attacked and get their bombers up to 50,000 feet. The plane (is about to run) out of gas, and this pilot has to get out of the Soviet Union before his plane drops down to where those Soviet planes are waiting for him."
...says THIS ARTICLE in Variety. The Cuban Missile Crisis was visited a few years back by Roger Donaldson's THIRTEEN DAYS, which chronicled the goings on in & around the Kennedy White House during the events. The film starred the way under-appreciated Bruce Greenwood as JFK, who'll be seen next year as Christopher Pike (the Enterprise commander who proceeding Jim Kirk) in J.J. Abrams' STAR TREK.

Readers Talkback
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  • July 14, 2008, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Thirteen Days was a pretty decent movie.

    by Knuckleduster

    They better have an interesting angle to their story if they want to avoid any comparisons. Hope this works.

  • July 14, 2008, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Bruce Greenwood is playing Pike?

    by Bouncy X

    wow, thats cool...i didnt know that, he's great.

  • July 14, 2008, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Where is the Space Chimps review?

    by conspiracy

  • July 14, 2008, 8:55 a.m. CST

    War with Iran will mark the next "One Minute to Midnight"

    by Sithdan

    Only this time, no one will blink.

  • July 14, 2008, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Space Pumps


    What happens to a fart in Zero Gravity?

  • July 14, 2008, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Costner has clawed back some respect

    by palimpsest

    Sure he went off the rails a bit in the early/mid 90s, post PRINCE OF THIEVES / DANCES WITH WOLVES / BODYGUARD, but he's producing some very solid work indeed. THIRTEEN DAYS is a fine film, as is OPEN RANGE, and he's excellent in MR BROOKS.

  • July 14, 2008, 9:32 a.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    Agreed. Open Range was terrific. People can slam Costner any way they want but check out his filmography: Silverado, The Untouchables, Field of Dreams, Revenge, Dances With Wolves, JFK, A Perfect World, Wyatt Earp, Thirteen Days and Open Range. Hell I even enjoyed Waterworld, Tin Cup and The Postman (despite its flaws).

  • July 14, 2008, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Sounds like Dr. Strangelove...

    by SenatorNado

    ... without a sense of humour. As if the threat wasn't real NOW:

  • July 14, 2008, 9:52 a.m. CST

    I knew an old man who claimed to have...

    by Zombieflicker

    flown a plane that had the nuke that was on it's way to Cuba. According to him it was literally seconds before dropping "the package" before he got the call to cancel the mission and turn around. Spooky stuff. He died not to long ago, so I can't prove anything. His last name was Markowski if anyone knows any history about it.

  • July 14, 2008, 10:06 a.m. CST


    by NeilF

    ...translate to 'old man' never even really got off the runway, but 'seconds away' sounds so much more exiting...

  • July 14, 2008, 10:08 a.m. CST

    I had my own mini Cuban missile crisis!

    by NeilF

    In the 80s I was at home alone, and all the air raid sirens in our town went off! That was an interesting 10-20 minutes waiting for any tell-tale rumbles... Very scary :(

  • July 14, 2008, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Costner is fantastic

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    I have always been a fan. Some of his work is amazing. A Perfect World is perhaps his greatest performance, but I love his John Dunbar. Also, Prince of Thieves is a particular favorite of mine....but heck, I've got a weird thing for Robin Hood.

  • July 14, 2008, 10:20 a.m. CST

    13 Days...

    by Wants Vaders Executor

    ... did also feature this U-2 flight over Russia. Or was it some other U-2 over Cuba? Can't see so far how this new movie will be different/better than 13 Days. The cast from 13 Days (Costner, the person who played JFK) was great. How will they match that?

  • July 14, 2008, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Now here's an idea:

    by Wants Vaders Executor

    The crew of the new film just buys the U-2-scenes from the rightholders of 13 Days. It also buys all the scenes that have been cut from 13 Days. Add some archival footage from Cubans/Americans/Russians all ducking under some stuff fearing the nukes are coming in. Declare it a finished movie and use the rest of the budget for some big party and there you go.

  • July 14, 2008, 10:29 a.m. CST

    since I'm on a streak here,

    by Wants Vaders Executor

    ,... let's let Shyamalan do a "re-envisioning" of the whole theme. That's the only way I can think of how this movie can be different than 13 Days. The twist could be that... that... oh I don't know. What could be the Shyamalanien Twist (tm) ?

  • July 14, 2008, 10:30 a.m. CST

    How exciting can this be?

    by blackmantis

    I mean, we all know the world did not end in the 1960's.

  • July 14, 2008, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Thirteen Days was great

    by bluetunehead

    They should definnitely get Steven Culp back as RFK. That guy just nails it.

  • July 14, 2008, 11:05 a.m. CST

    13 Days

    by bellwether

    is the definitive Missile Crisis film and deserves to be more widely known. Although we know the outcome it manages to generate a great deal of tension, and despite having to streamline and simplify a lot of historical events it strikes me as a pretty good recreation. Costner has never been better and Bruce Greenwood was fantastic as JFK. So this movie has a lot to live up to. And yes, we were on the actual brink more times than anybody knew, and past success is no guarantee of future performance. Google Able Archer for starters.

  • July 14, 2008, 11:05 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Bruce Greenwood really should run for office. He just exudes authority and intelligence. Woulda made a great Reed Richards too.

  • July 14, 2008, 11:07 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    soon after Bush took office? I've always believed that was a deliberate incident to provoke conflict with China, as was also outlined by the NeoCons.

  • July 14, 2008, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Childhood Remembrances

    by bythehairofsanjaya

    I was in the third grade at the time. Were were sent home and everyone had to walk and time how long it took. Don't remember too much just my parents being nervous. We were just glad to get out of school for a day.

  • July 14, 2008, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Thirteen Days kicked ass

    by photoboy

    I loved that film, it took me completely by surprise at how awesome it was. I think it's very underrated. In fact I think I'm going to re-watch it tonight (if I can find the damn disc, I have way too many DVDs now. I need some sort of system...)

  • July 14, 2008, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Missiles of October

    by Tar Heel

    I remember watching a television play in the 70's called missiles of October. I think William DeVane was JFK. Shot on video and very stagey, but effective.

  • July 14, 2008, 11:57 a.m. CST

    re: "Downed in China"

    by ScottinDC

    Allowing our so-called radar-proof AWAC to get downed was a deliberate act? I'm no neo-con but it seems far-fetched at minimum to believe we'd allow one of our AWAC's to be forced down over China rather than continuing to do so without being forced down (proving our military superiority). Interesting theory; but it doesn't make sense to me.

  • July 14, 2008, noon CST


    by directorsaab

  • July 14, 2008, 12:07 p.m. CST


    by Godovhellfire

  • July 14, 2008, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Thirteen Days (minus Costner's horrible accent) was great!

    by Luscious.868

    Thirteen Day was great and if you haven't seen it I'd highly recommend it. The only real problem is Kevin Costner's hackjob of a Massachusetts accent but if you can get past that (and I was able to easily) you're in for a real treat. It gives you a great idea of just how close we came to war.<p> I have a hard time seeing how somebody could do it better. Portraying events strictly from the US angle, as Thirteen Days did, allowed for suspense because you never knew what the Russians were thinking, and since I was only vaguely familiar with the history, what they would do next.

  • July 14, 2008, 12:46 p.m. CST


    by classyfredblassy

    Heaven forbid even thinking that China might have instigated that incident. According to their story, the slow, lumbering surveillance plan out maneuvered the Chi-Com fighter jets and "rammed" one of them. We all know they have the peace of the world in their hearts when they sell weapons to the arab militias in the Sudan, beat and murdered those violent as hell Buddhist monks, and point 400 missiles at the war mongering fiends of Taiwan.

  • July 14, 2008, 1:18 p.m. CST

    China plane

    by supertoyslast

    I have no doubt that China brought down that plane. They overplayed their hand by holding the crew captive. If they had let the crew go immediately and held onto the plane, they would have had the sympathy of the world with them. As it was, in the propaganda stakes, it ended up as a victory for the Bush government.<p>I do have to wonder, though, what would be the reaction of the American public if China started sending spy planes into American airspace?

  • July 14, 2008, 1:39 p.m. CST

    China sending planes into the US?

    by TheBloop

    Why bother? They just send people over to work and Los Alamos National Labs and have them steal hard drives. When they get caught red handed, just scream racism. Works like a charm. Plus, China claims its borders go hundreds off miles out to see, when the rest of the world doesn't recognize those boundaries. Not like the US plane was flying over Beijing for God's sake.

  • July 14, 2008, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Don't Tell Me How It Ends

    by Jonas Grumpy

    I want to be surprised!

  • July 14, 2008, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Missiles Of October

    by skimn

    did indeed star William Devane as JFK and helped cement his stature. Remember when a really successful TV movie could help launch a film career? I'm thinking of Powers Booth as Jim Jones and Tommy Lee Jones as Howard Hughes (and later Gary Gilmour).<p>I do recall Martin Sheen as Bobby (another starmaking performance), and the production, though stagy, very well done.

  • July 14, 2008, 2:39 p.m. CST

    vampire lesbian movies?

    by classyfredblassy

    any good recommendation?

  • July 14, 2008, 3:22 p.m. CST

    WeinerPenis - I thought the exact same thing

    by Bass Bastardson

    I totally thought that it was a Y2K movie. Although, unlike you, I actually think that there is something creative and interesting to be made out of a Y2K movie. I'm not sure what it would be but that was such a weird paranoid time that there's got to be good story fodder for some kind of drama or even a satirical comedy. There was so much hype on the news and commentators speculating that planes were going to fall from the sky, banks would collapse and the power grid would go offline all at once. I remember that New Years really well. It seems totally silly now, but at the time people were actually worried as hell (or kinda excited to see the shit go down).

  • July 14, 2008, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Really close calls for nuclear war Part 1

    by Shan

    November 9, 1979: False "Soviet First Strike" Alarm: The US made emergency retaliation preparations after NORAD saw on-screen indications that a full-scale Soviet attack had been launched. [6] No attempt was made to use the "red telephone" hotline to clarify the situation with the USSR and it was not until early-warning radar systems confirmed no such launch had taken place that NORAD realized that a computer system test had caused the display errors. A Senator inside the NORAD facility at the time described an atmosphere of absolute panic. A GAO investigation led to the construction of an off-site test facility, to prevent similar mistakes in the future.

  • July 14, 2008, 4 p.m. CST

    Really close calls for nuclear war Part 2

    by Shan

    Stanislav Petrov, a Strategic Rocket Forces lieutenant colonel, was the officer on duty at the Serpukhov-15 bunker near Moscow on September 26, 1983. Petrov's responsibilities included observing the satellite early warning network and notifying his superiors of any impending nuclear missile attack against the Soviet Union. If notification was received from the early-warning systems that inbound missiles had been detected, the Soviet Union's strategy was an immediate nuclear counter-attack against the United States (launch on warning), specified in the doctrine of mutual assured destruction.[1] Shortly after midnight, the bunker's computers reported that an intercontinental ballistic missile was heading toward the Soviet Union from the US.[3] Petrov considered the detection a computer error, since a United States first-strike nuclear attack would hypothetically involve hundreds of simultaneous missile launches to disable any Soviet means for a counterattack. Furthermore, the satellite system's reliability had been questioned in the past.[4] Petrov dismissed the warning as a false alarm, though accounts of the event differ as to whether he notified his superiors[5] or not[3] after he concluded that the computer detections were false and that no missile had been launched. Later, the computers identified four additional missiles in the air, all directed towards the Soviet Union. Petrov again suspected that the computer system was malfunctioning, despite having no other source of information to confirm his suspicions. The Soviet Union's land radar was incapable of detecting missiles beyond the horizon, and waiting for it to positively identify the threat would limit the Soviet Union's response time to minutes. Had Petrov reported incoming American missiles, his superiors might have launched an assault against the United States, precipitating a corresponding nuclear response from the United States. Petrov declared the system's indications a false alarm. Later, it was apparent that he was right: no missiles were approaching and the computer detection system was malfunctioning. It was subsequently determined that the false alarms had been created by a rare alignment of sunlight on high-altitude clouds and the satellites' Molniya orbits, an error later corrected with cross-reference to a geostationary satellite.[6] Petrov later indicated the influences in this decision included: that he had been told a US strike would be all-out, so that five missiles seemed an illogical start; that the launch detection system was new and, in his view, not yet wholly trustworthy; and that ground radars were still failing to pick up any corroborative evidence, even after minutes of delay. [7]

  • July 14, 2008, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Really close calls for nuclear war Part 3

    by Shan

    On October 27, 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, a group of eleven United States Navy destroyers headed by the aircraft carrier USS Randolph entrapped a nuclear-armed Soviet Foxtrot class submarine B-59 near Cuba and started dropping practice depth charges, explosives intended to force the submarine to come to the surface for identification. Allegedly, the captain of the submarine, Valentin Grigorievitch Savitsky, believing that a war might already have started, prepared to launch a retaliatory nuclear-tipped torpedo. Three officers on board the submarine — Savitsky, Political Officer Ivan Semonovich Maslennikov, and Second Captain Arkhipov — were entitled to launch the torpedo if they agreed unanimously in favour of doing so. An argument broke out among the three, in which only Arkhipov was against making the attack, eventually persuading Savitsky to surface the submarine and await orders from Moscow. The nuclear warfare which presumably would have ensued was thus averted. At the conference commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis held in Havana on 13 October 2002, Robert McNamara admitted that nuclear war had come much closer than people had thought. Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, said that "a guy called Vasili Arkhipov saved the world."

  • July 14, 2008, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Really close calls for nuclear war Part 4

    by Shan

    November 1983: Exercise Able Archer: The USSR mistook a test of NATO's nuclear-release procedures as a fake cover for a NATO attack and subsequently raised its nuclear alert level. It was not until afterwards that the US realized how close it had come to nuclear war. At the time of the exercise the Soviet Politburo was without a healthy functioning head due to the failing health of then leader Yuri Andropov, which is thought to have been one of the contributing factors to the Soviet concern over the exercise.[citation needed]

  • July 14, 2008, 4:07 p.m. CST

    And the lesson is ...

    by Shan

    If even one of these events was as close as it sounds, looks like we were all very lucky that the button wasn't pushed. Maybe it might be an idea to really make sure the system is as fail safe as it can be made before disaster strikes. All quotations from Wikipedia.

  • July 14, 2008, 4:44 p.m. CST


    by chipps

    gentlemen, you can't fight in here, this is the war room! Strangelove is my favorite black and white movie. I have often thought that when we moved to colour, an artform was lost. sure there was all kinds of new things we got, but a good black and white film is better in black and white than in colour. and none beat strangelove. it is almost like the script, and certainly the set was designed for it. imagine the war in colour. no thanks. insanely good movie. several greats at the top of their game. 20, 30 million casualties tops

  • July 14, 2008, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Is this movie a sequel to that song by Iron Maiden?

    by Alkeoholic77

    2 minutes to midnight The hands that threaten doom. 2 minutes to midnight To kill the unborn in the womb!!!!!!

  • July 14, 2008, 6:42 p.m. CST

    I love Thirteen Days... outstanding flick.

    by Chewtoy

    And if anyone thinks there's no drama to be had from this, they're clueless. And yes, Costner sounded like Mayor Quimby for a bit, but still a great flick.

  • July 14, 2008, 7:44 p.m. CST

    I Had the Same Feeling

    by mike904

    "One of my college professors ......shared vivd remembrances about going to bed at night, unsure if he...or the world...would ever see another sunrise." I was 11 years old at the time and wondered the same thing. It was the most frightening two weeks of my life.

  • July 14, 2008, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Che Guevara was disappointed ...

    by Mace Tofu

    He urged Khrushchev to launch a nuclear strike against US cities. When Khrushchev backed down and literally saved the world, Che was furious at the "betrayal". For the rest of his life, he declared that if his finger had been on the button, he would have pushed it. Poor Che : ( No nukes for you bad boy.

  • July 15, 2008, 4:19 a.m. CST


    by Prossor

    what a bullet the world dodged that kruschev led the power tankeover after stalin and stopped that sadist beria from becoming stalin's successor.