November 18, 2015 | By | 11 Replies More

Gail Egan, U.K. producer of 20 films, including John LeCarre’s THE CONSTANT GARDNER, and independent producer Tracy Bing, have optioned the film rights to ACTS OF FAITH, which I consider my best novel. If it is ever brought to the screen — and believe me that’s a long shot — this story would have the epic scope and sweep of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. I say it’s a long shot because ACTS OF FAITH has been optioned a couple of times since its hardcover publication in 2005 — Ms. Bing was involved in the past, when she was with Warner Bros. Independent. Robert Rodat, who wrote the script for SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, had been attached as a screenwriter, but, alas, nothing came of it. This time around, I’m hoping that Ms. Bing’s steadfast belief in the book, and Ms. Egan’s enthusiasm for it, will make it a go.

I will add that the dreadful attack in Paris, where several friends and colleagues live, tempers my excitement. It almost feels morally wrong to feel any joy or pleasure at such a time. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families, and — sorry to add this harsh note — one of my prayers is that the U.S. will join forces with France and whoever else is willing to sign on, to wipe the scourge of Islamist Radicalism (now incarnate in ISIS) from the face of the earth. Together, we crushed Naziism; together, we can crush this hideous political-religious ideology. There is a connection between these sentiments and the above announcement: ACTS OF FAITH’s underlying theme expresses the dangers of belief when it leads to fanaticism.

Category: News

Comments (11)

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  1. christopher rohland says:

    Dear Mr. Caputo,

    I find all of your books extremely visual so I would be happy to see any of them made into (qualified) screen adaptations. ‘Acts’ would be a great film – but so would Horn of Africa (one of the top 10, maybe 5, books I’ve ever read) . . . and Indian Country . . . and Crossers . . . and – anyway, your subjects are so broad that if any were made into faithful film adaptations, none would anything like any other.

    Huge admirer of your work and look forward to whatever comes next.

    Chris Rohland

  2. Tony Baker says:

    It is a great book. I want to see it on the screen. Let it be.

    • Dare I say, in view of recent horrible events, Inshallah?

      • Tony Baker says:


        I didn’t respond to the current events part of your statement, but I wonder if there can’t be some way out of this that doesn’t involve westerners slaughtering more Arab Muslims, which is precisely what the madmen want. That doesn’t seem to be what the world needs. We’ve hit a wall with the whole paradigm of force and violence. Not enough world left or timr.

        The Bahai’i say that ‘peace is inevitable’, and I absolutely agree with that, but it may not be true for human beings.

        • Dear Tony:

          Your response deserves a longer one from me. Naturally, I have been reading, watching, and listening to reports and commentaries about the attack in Paris. I’ve given them a lot of thought, drawing on my own experiences as a war correspondent, a Middle East correspondent, and as a combat Marine in Vietnam (where I was a “boot on the ground”). The best analysis of what the West should do to destroy ISIS appeared in the “Review” section of today’s Wall Street Journal. It was written by Robert Kagan, of the Brookings Institution. His conclusion, which is the conclusion reached by most experts, is that there is no way out of this without western troops engaging in direct, ground combat with the ISIS army. All other tactics and strategies, like the one President Obama is following, are doomed to stalemate or failure. Given that a terrorist organization like ISIS wins simply by not losing, stalemate would be tantamount to failure for the West. This doesn’t mean that a huge army, led by the U.S., would rumble through ISIS’s “Caliphate” in Syria and Iraq, slaughtering Muslims. The West would have to form a coalition with Arab armies to, first, crush ISIS, and second, to occupy their territory and foster the formation of a government that would overcome sectarian tensions and divisions, though it probably would not be a democratic government in the way we understand the word. This would mean a reprise of the “Sunni Awakening” that occurred during the Iraq “surge” in 2007-8, when Sunni tribes, disgusted by and fed up with, the cruelties and repressions imposed by Al-Queda in Iraq (the predecessor of ISIS) revolted against AQI, with considerable assistance from U.S. forces. It also mean that Assad cannot be allowed to remain in power — no one but the Iranians would stand for that. The Russians are supporting him, true, but there has been backchannel chatter that they are not married to him and might be persuaded to throw him under the proverbial bus.

          Kagan urges vigorous and robust action now because the Syrian civil war is no longer confined to Syria. The stability of Lebanon, Jordan, and even Turkey are threatened. The millions of refugees pouring out of Syria are straining Europe and placing incredible pressures on the EU. And, of course, ISIS terrorists have now demonstrated that they can strike with devastating effect far beyond the region. He quotes military sources as saying that a military campaign against ISIS would require 40,000-50,000 troops and take about two months. To my mind, that doesn’t sound overly optimistic. The forces, again, would and should include troops from neighboring Arab countries whose stability is under ISIS threat. They would be assembled with western troops in a coalition similar to the one Pres.Bush-the-First put together to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein in 1991. ISIS has a vulnerability that smaller terrorist groups (Al-Queda, the Nusra Front, etc.) do not have: it is a de-facto state that controls a large swath of territory (the “Caliphate” is about the size of Indiana); it has an army, with tanks, artillery, motor transport); it has a government that must maintain order, provide municipal services, and perform other administrative tasks. Attacking it would be like attacking a nation-state.

          The hardest part would be the aftermath –managing the peace. But we managed the peace in Europe after WWII, we managed the peace after the Korean War (and are still managing it, 60+ years later). We are managing the peace achieved in the Balkans after the Serbian-Bosnian war. Managing a peace in Syria and Iraq will cost money, which the bellicose Republicans should take note of. Taxes will have to be raised to pay for the war and the reconstruction effort afterward. Conservatives will have to give up their theological belief in Supply-Side economics, which I suspect they’ll no more do than Obama will take the measures necessary to rid the planet of this scourge called Islamist Radicalism.

          The longer it exists, the more extensive its reach is going to become, and — this is key — the more recruits it will draw into its murderous embrace. And in greater numbers than western intervention would create. It already has branches in Libya, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, among other places. It is a virtual given that it will perpetrate more atrocities wherever it sees an opening, and that includes Europe and even the U.S.

          The clarity of President Holland’s remarks — that the Paris attacks were an act of war committed by a terrorist army, and that France was now in a state of war with ISIS — reflected a clarity of thought and perception. Unfortunately, that clarity isn’t shared by our president. He is proving obstinate in his insistence that his current strategy is working, when it clearly is doing no such thing. As Kagan points out, Obama’s aim appears to be to contain ISIS and to keep the U.S. out of any deeper involvement in the Mideast in general, the Syrian conflict in particular. He appears to think U.S. interests do not warrant any effort much beyond the current one. He doesn’t seem to care about what happens in Europe as Mideast violence bursts out of the Mideast.

          As a former “boot on the ground”, I know what war costs. The names of 18 of my Marine comrades are engraved on the wall in Washington. That said, I don’t see how we’re going to “degrade and eventually defeat” ISIS with the current half measures.

          All Best, Phil.

          • WDG says:

            With reference to ISIS, your readers might find useful
            “The True Believer”, by Eric Hoffer.
            ps: more and please

  3. don wendling says:

    getting islamo fascism controlled, in many ways mr caputo , is more complex imho ,than ww2 .Agree??

  4. William Calhoun says:

    Phil: That would be great. All your books are good. I still think Rumor of War stands out as it expresses the thoughts and feelings of the men on the ground. But Acts of Faith ought to awaken some of the narrow minded zealots who want to make everyone the same. Thank you for all that you have done in your writings. Bill Calhoun, Knoxville, Tennessee

  5. bill walsh says:

    Ay some point if our joy is diminished by acts of terrorism
    and we found out today that Boka Haram has probably killed more people this year than ISIS
    they win
    we must engage . defeat and go to thee next great battle
    Evil exits and terrorism has never evr been eliminated by peace agreement or truce
    the only way is to defeat them
    author and historian
    Caleb Carr

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