Nine years after a horrifying ordeal, the story of local hero Marcus Luttrell will be told in “Lone Survivor” — a movie based on his book with the same name – that opens today.
When Huntsville Cinema 10 hosted an advanced screening Thursday, the movie theater was silent from beginning until the room cleared save for the ever-present sniffle. Luttrell, now 38 years old, graduated from Sam Houston State University and was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.
The sobering and graphic film is directed by Peter Berg and chronicles the events from June 2005 where Luttrell and his fellow Navy SEALS team members were ambushed by more than 100 local Taliban fighters.
“I loved it,” said Weston Lippe, who also said he knew Luttrell. “It was touching to me that they did what actually happened (according to stories Luttrell told). Most movies don’t.”
Allen Carpentier and those with him said the movie was “very good” and echoed Lippe.
“(What his favorite part was) that it was based on a true story,” Carpentier said.
Luttrell was a fan of the reality too, telling TheBlaze.com that the movie makers “told it how it happened.”
“My exploits and everything are moot at best because I’m alive, and, I mean, what’s there to talk about,” he said. “My teammates didn’t make it.”
Both men and women came out of the theater red in the face from crying, some still wiping tears from their eyes. Many gasped at the intense and bloody battle scenes that director Peter Berg, who spoke with HitFix.com, said made the movie special.
“I think it is unique to see such brutal violence occur in such a majestic environment,” he said. “That’s how it went down.”
Luttrell, who also spoke to HitFix.com, was on-scene during most of the movie to set the record straight on what happened except for the battle scenes.
“Lucky enough to get a director who was open-minded. ... somebody who would listen and understand and put the time in and to really understand how we do our business and what happened up on the mountain that day,” Luttrell said.
Luttrell was the only survivor after sustaining a gunshot wound, a broken back, fractures, several shrapnel wounds and being sheltered by local Afghani Pashtun villagers. The villagers eventually helped to get the attention of American officials who rescued Luttrell.
The Sam Houston State University alumnus returned to Texas where he wrote a book by the same title about his life and experiences in the war. He also founded the Lone Survivor Foundation – based in Houston — in 2010 with the goal to speed recovery for wounded veterans.
Actor Mark Wahlberg stars as Luttrell in the film along with Taylor Kitsch as Michael Murphy, Emile Hirsch as Danny Dietz, and Ben Foster as Matt “Axe” Axelson.
He attended SHSU from 1994 to 1998 majoring in business administration before joining the Navy in 1999. Luttrell now lives with his wife, Melanie, and their two children, Axe and Addie.
He eventually received the Navy Cross and two Purple Hearts for his actions during Operation Red Wing and retired from the Navy in 2007.
Cinema 10 will show the movie on one screen starting Friday. Showtimes are 4 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 9:30 p.m.; and on Saturday and Sunday they will have an additional showing at 1:15 p.m. “Lone Survivor” is rated R.