Based on a non-fiction best-seller by former Marine Anthony Swofford, the movie will follow the fortunes of a platoon of American soldiers and their treacherous trek through Saudi desert in the original Gulf War in 1990. An unflinching portrayal of what it's really like to be a soldier in the frontlines, the book is at times highly critical of the US military – not a viewpoint that's going to go down well in the current American political landscape.
"It's controversial, but it's kinda like what we know," said Foxx, who will play Sgt. Siek, one of the company fighting alongside Swoff (Jake Gyllenhaal). "In America we know that bad things are going on but we choose sometimes, in a sense, to overlook them. But now, with all the things that are going on, we're going to get down to the nitty-gritty of it. So this movie is very important."
And perhaps who better to make a movie which may be critical of certain aspects of America than a Brit (who made his name as a director on American projects)? "Sam Mendes is a great, great director," said Foxx. "It's a very, very eloquent script. It's going to blow your socks off."