Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Military News

Howard Altman: Schwarzkopf's daughter acquires film rights to book about him

Pretty much from the moment he was born, the life story of Norman Schwarzkopf read like a movie script.

His father, H. Norman Schwarzkopf, worked on the infamous Lindbergh baby kidnapping case in 1932, helped create the New Jersey State Police and went on to serve in World War II, according to his Biography.com bio.

After the war, the Schwarzkopfs moved to Iran, where the future four-star general went to school, before attending classes in Geneva, Switzerland, the Valley Forge Military Academy and then the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

And, of course, Schwarzkopf, who died at his family home in Tampa in December 2012, went on to have a famous military career.

He earned three Silver Stars, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart during Vietnam, but became best known as "Stormin' Norman," the man running U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base during the first Gulf War.

So it's no wonder that one of his daughters, Jessica Schwarzkopf, wants to make a movie about her father's life.

In keeping with family tradition, Schwarzkopf told me she wants to make sure the story gets the best treatment possible.

"I have rights to the story and the book, and I want to make sure I do it with the right people."

I first spoke to Schwarzkopf about the idea a few years back and again a couple of weeks ago when I interviewed her about VETPAW, a group of veterans who fight smuggling in Africa. She's a member of their board.

There's no script yet, she said, adding that she's in the "chicken or egg" phase of the concept.

"I've been doing a lot of networking, trying to promote the story and the film," she said. "It's a chicken-or-egg scenario. Do I get a producer first, and then get a writer, or do I get a writer first?"

Schwarzkopf, who has done television production work with the Home Shopping Network, News10 and Bright House, said trying to make a biopic is something else altogether.

"It's tough navigating the whole Hollywood business," she said a few days before attending the annual Telluride Film Festival in Colorado. "This is kind of my first jump into film and movies and I am waiting for the right fit."

Though there's no script and no deal, it's still fun to talk about who might play the blustery Army general who became famous with his televised briefings about Operation Desert Storm.

"That's a tough one," Schwarzkopf said. "There are actually different stages of his life."

"We need someone who can look younger, and then look older, like Leonardo DiCaprio."

The ultimate choice will probably be "an actor I can't even think of who comes in and knocks us off our feet."

Then again, if Tom Hanks were available ...

"If he came along, I would not turn him down," Schwarzkopf said.

Stay tuned on what happens with this project.

•••

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of a civilian and three troops supporting Operation Inherent Resolve since the last edition of MacDill Matters.

GS-12 Daniel Hoadley, 54, of Colorado Springs died Aug. 18 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from a non-combat related incident.

Sgt. Roshain Euvince Brooks, 30, of Brooklyn and Spc. Allen Levi Stigler Jr., 22, of Arlington, Texas, died Aug. 13 of wounds sustained while engaged in combat operations in Iraq. Both soldiers were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Tech. Sgt. David Board, 49, of Barboursville, W. Va., died Aug. 2 in Kuwait in a non-combat-related incident while deployed in support of combat operations.

He was assigned to the 130th Airlift Wing at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, W. Va.

In addition, the Army announced the death of Staff Sgt. Alexander P. Dalida, 32, of Dunstable, Mass., who died Sept. 14 during a training exercise at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

There have been 2,347 U.S. troop deaths in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan; 43 U.S. troop deaths and one civilian Department of Defense employee death in support of the follow-up, Operation Freedom's Sentinel in Afghanistan; 38 troop deaths and two civilian deaths in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the fight against the Islamic State; one troop death in support of Operation Odyssey Lightning, the fight against Islamic State in Libya; and one death under classified as other contingency operations as part of the global war on terrorism.

Contact Howard Altman at [email protected] or (813) 225-3112. Follow @haltman.

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