According to Variety, production on Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Farrelly’s upcoming film adaptation of Chick Donohue and J.T. Malloy’s best-selling memoir The Greatest Beer Run Ever has officially begun in Thailand.
It has also been confirmed that Zac Efron (The Greatest Showman) and Oscar winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator) have officially signed on to star in the project, with Efron portraying the role of Donahue. Maze Runner star Dylan O’Brien was initially attached for the leading role.
The Greatest Beer Run Ever adaptation will serve as Farrelly’s next project after his feature Green Book won two Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The 2020 novel was written by Joanna Molloy and John “Chick” Donohue. The comedy-drama is based on the true tale of Donohue, who in 1967 left New York to track down and share a few beers with his childhood buddies in the Army… while they were fighting in Vietnam.
The official book synopsis reads: “In 1967, John (Chick) Donohue was a 26-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran working as a merchant seaman when he was challenged one night in a New York City bar. The men gathered at this hearth had lost family and friends in the ongoing war in Vietnam. Now, they were seeing protesters turn on the troops. One neighborhood patriot proposed an idea many might deem preposterous: One of them should sneak into Vietnam, track down their buddies in combat, and give each of them messages of support from back home, maybe some laughs — and beer.
“Chick volunteered for the mission. He sailed to Vietnam on a cargo ship carrying a backpack full of American beer, landing in Qui Nho’n in 1968. Things went awry when Chick got caught in the Tet Offensive, starting in the early hours as an eyewitness to the battle to retake the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, where he became stuck for months.
“Chick Donohue later became legendary as ‘the sandhog who went to Harvard.’ He worked for decades on behalf of New York’s tunnel builders as the legislative and political director of Sandhogs Local 147.
“This is the story of his epic beer run to Vietnam, in his own words and in those of the men he found in the war zone.”
The film adaptation will be directed by Farrelly from a screenplay he co-wrote with Green Book co-scribes Brian Currie and Pete Jones. It is a production by Skydance Media for Apple TV+. It will be produced by Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Don Granger along with Andrew Muscato.