Jarhead: According to Variety, Sam Mendes' next movie will be Jarhead, a Universal drama based on Anthony Swofford's Persian Gulf-set Marine Corps. memoir.

Cast Away scribe William Broyles wrote the script, and Red Wagon partners Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher will produce.

Shooting begins in the fall.

Drawing on his own experiences as a Marine grunt in Vietnam, Broyles wrote a script that studio and producers felt captured Swofford's voice and vivid descriptions of war.

While Mendes has no background in soldiering, he liked the script enough to commit after reading a draft and doing some work on it with Broyles.

"This is equal parts black humor, honesty, rage, lyricism, profanity and the mixture of machismo jarhead culture. With the exception of 'Three Kings,' this is a war that has been overlooked but which has a burning relevance to what is happening right now in the Middle East," Mendes added.

To tackle "Jarhead," Mendes will have to postpone film adaptations of Stephen Sondheim's musical "Sweeney Todd" and Khaled Hosseini's novel "The Kite Runner."

Mendes, who followed his Oscar-winning debut film American Beauty with 2002's Road to Perdition hasn't made a film since. But he said he is still enthusiastic about the other projects and might accelerate his pace to make them in the near term.

"My process is slow and I enjoy it too much to rush," said Mendes. "And I like to return to the theater between films. But after not doing any movies for a few years, perhaps I might do two in two years."

Brian B.