Hey Hollywood, I've got a pitch for you.
The movie opens in Syria. "Strangers" by The Kinks plays as a guy who looks like your barista mans a machine gun on the back of a tank. Cut to him smoking a cigarette while holding a grenade, and then reading The Collected Works of John Reed as armed soldiers rush past him.
The best part? It's all true. New York Magazine published a story about this guy, Brace Belden, last week. He's 27 and worked at a boxing gym in San Francisco before he went to Syria to fight ISIS.
Here's Belden, who goes by @PissPigGranddad on Twitter, after a soldier next to him stepped on a mine.
When you step on a mine but it doesn't go off <<<<< pic.twitter.com/oUVBx0RtDa
— LENIN_LOVER69 (@PissPigGranddad) March 18, 2017
He's fighting with the YPG (or People’s Protection Units), the military wing of a Kurdish political party trying to carve out a socialist state in northern Syria. They think of him as a "Mr. Bean" type, but I'm not sure how that'd play outside of the UK market.
Maybe go with a younger, hunkier actor? A Jake Gyllenhaal type?
You know what, I've got it. Put a fuzzy mustache and some black frames on Miles Teller and you're good to go. Or maybe just see what Jessie Eisenberg is doing.
Image: Bold Films/REX/Shutterstock
He's a Marxist. If that seems like too much, maybe just slap a Bernie sticker on his computer at the start of the movie. That's the guy Larry David played on SNL. The kids will love it.
What's that? Are there kookie sidekicks? You bet there are.
Image: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock
But don't worry, there's romance too. Belden's dating a woman named Jen Snyder, a political activist.
She was "pretty fucking pissed" when she heard he wasn't doing humanitarian work in Syria, but rather fighting ISIS. But they stayed together (swoon).
I mean, this scene pretty much sells it as a date movie.
Oh, and the real Belden already has the perfect quote for the trailer.
"A machine gun is like a woman. I don't understand it, I'm afraid of it, and one day I'll accidentally be killed by it."
Also, there are a lot of Kurds to cast, who are battling not only ISIS but also Turkey and the increasingly autocratic government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
We're sure Hollywood will cast the appropriate people.
So, Hollywood movie studios, let's do this. I eagerly await your call.