Robert Pattinson to star in 'Mission: Blacklist,' about Saddam Hussein capture
Robert Pattinson of the "Twilight" vampire films is set to take on Saddam Hussein in his next movie.
The 25-year-old British actor has been cast in the new movie "Mission: Blacklist," which centers on the man who helped plan the capture of the Iraqi dictator following a 2003 U.S. invasion aimed at toppling him. The film is based on the book "Mission: Black List #1," which was co-written by Davin Seay and Eric Maddox, the soldier and military interrogator who helped plan his capture.
Pattinson is expected to play Maddox in the film. "Mission: Blacklist" will be directed by Jean-Stephane Sauvaire, who helmed the 2008 African war movie "Johnny Mad Dog," Variety reported, adding that "Band of Brothers" writer and producer Erik Jendresen will pen the screenplay.
Hussein was nabbed months in his hometown of Tikrit after the invasion of Iraq began. Maddox was assigned to a special operations task force in Tikrit and carried out 300 interrogations to collect information that led to the Iraqi leader's capture.
"Prior to arriving in Tikrit, I had not actually conducted a live interrogation," Maddox said at the 2011 TEDxOKC conference in Oklahoma. "So I took the eight weeks of interrogation training I received in 1999 and I went to work. After about 10 days, something was becoming very, very clear. I wasn't getting anybody to talk."
"By July 2003, the Iraqi military had dissolved," he said. "Our enemy was an insurgent who blended in with the local populace because he was the local populace. They maintained day jobs, they conducted operations at night. They were setting off roadside [bombs]. When captured, they were at their home in civilian clothes, asleep, with no smoking gun."
He said that after several dozen interrogations that yielded no useful information, he changed his tactic - he started talking less about their potential wrongdoings and more about their civilian lives and the main benefit of cooperating - the chance to be released home.
"I was no longer bickering with these prisoners over guilt or innocence," he said. "I put myself in their shoes. From that day on, the information came flooding. From there, it eventually led to the trail that took us to Saddam."
Maddox started building a "road map" of captured insurgents whose connections would lead him to the Iraqi leader. He and his eight-man team captured a man who led them to a driver, who in term helped them find Hussein's former bodyguard.
"I didn't torture him," Maddox said. "I didn't lay a finger on him."
After several hours of interrogating him, the man led the team to a spider hole where the Iraqi leader was hiding. Hussein was executed for crimes against humanity in 2006.
Maddox is now a civilian worker of the Department of Defense. Since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, he has conducted at least 2,500 of them all over the world and has been on more than 200 combat raids to support the global war on terrorism. He was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Defense Intelligence Agency's Director's Award and the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement for capturing Hussein.