Act of Valor, a Bandito Brothers/Relativity Media production, is scheduled for wide theatrical release on over 3,000 screens nationwide on February 24, 2012. Just a quick look at the movie’s trailer gives some indication of how successful this unique movie – the first one ever starring active duty U.S. Navy SEALs – will be. Relativity Media has partnered with best-selling author Tom Clancy on its heart-pounding Navy SEAL action-thriller Act of Valor and an accompanying novelization of the film’s screenplay. This marks Tom Clancy’s first time to present a novelization of a feature film not based on his own original work.

Bandito Brothers’ film Act of Valor stars a group of active-duty Navy SEALs-not actors-along with Roselyn Sanchez, Alex Veadov, Jason Cottle and Nestor Serrano in a riveting story of contemporary global anti-terrorism. The film’s novelization, Tom Clancy Presents Act of Valor written by Dick Couch and George Galdorsi, based on the screenplay by Kurt Johnstad, was released in paperback by Clancy’s long-time publisher, Berkley Books on January 10, 2012.

Tom Clancy’s Foreword to Tom Clancy Presents Act of Valor, which also contains a link to the Navy Seal Foundation at nswfoundation.org nicely sums up the spirit of both the movie and the novelization:

The events in this book and movie may not always be easy to read about or watch, but it is important for us to get a glimpse into the lives of these courageous Americans, and a deeper appreciation for sacrifices they make for us. We have an obligation to honor the SEALs and their families-not just in the event that we are fortunate enough to meet any of them one day, but by living our lives to the fullest, enjoying and preserving the liberties afforded to us because of their work.

Produced and directed by former Baja 1000 champion Mike “Mouse” McCoy and former stuntman Scott Waugh, Act of Valor goes deep into the secret world of U.S. Navy SEALs, today’s most elite and highly trained group of warriors. When the rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative leads to the discovery of a deadly terrorist plot against the United States, a team of SEALs is dispatched on a worldwide manhunt. As the men of Bandito Platoon race to stop a coordinated attack that could kill and maim thousands of American civilians, they must balance their commitments to country, team, and their families back home. Inspired by true events, the film combines stunning combat sequences, up-to-the minute battlefield technology and heart-pumping emotion for the ultimate action adventure.

Filming took place in a variety of locations where SEAL and other special operations training is conducted; from Key West, Florida, to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to Stennis, Mississippi, to El Centro, California, to San Clemente Island, and aboard U.S. Navy ships and submarines, including USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) and USS Florida (SSGN-728). And since everyone in uniform on screen is either a U.S. Navy SEAL or U.S. Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC), the true stars of this film effort were all active duty U.S. Navy SEALs and SWCCs.

In the summer of 2011, Dick Couch and George Galdorisi embarked on a novelization of Act of Valor. Working with the Kurt Johnstad script and a pre-release DVD of the movie, they created a back-story of all the major characters; the Navy SEALs of the Bandito Platoon (the informal name of the SEALs who starred in the movie), SEAL family members, the villains the SEALs needed to defeat, as well as other characters – major and minor. While the movie implicitly addressed core values such as honor, courage, commitment, character, nobility, sacrifice, family values and others, for the novelization, Couch and Galdorisi needed to walk the reader through these explicitly and show how the success the U.S. Navy SEALs have enjoyed in missions throughout their 50-year history has been critically dependent on these core values.

The production of the manuscript for Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor was on an accelerated timeline in order to get the book (a Penguin premium paperback priced at $9.99) into production for the January 10, 2012 release date. Couch and Galdorisi report that it was a fast paced several months to complete the book and shepherd it though time-critical rounds of editing, re-editing, and copy-editing, but the final result is a book and story with the granularity to enable the reader to internalize what he or she might have missed in an action-packed, 100-minute movie.

Since San Diego is home to the U.S. Navy Special Warfare Command, this is as much as “San Diego” movie and book as any that have ever been done before. As Tom Clancy says in the book’s Foreword: “Read the book.  See the movie.  If you are inspired by what you read and see, please consider joining me in making a donation to the Navy Seal Foundation at nswfoundation.org. And 2012, the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Navy SEALs, is the perfect time to do just that.


 

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