Sony’s Fury set as London closing film; Brad Pitt, David Ayer to attend


The London Film Festival (Oct 8-19) will close with the European premiere of Sony’s Second World War tank drama Fury, which stars Brad Pitt as a battle-hardened US army sergeant leading a deadly mission behind enemy lines.

The October 19 screening at Odeon Leicester Square will be attended by Pitt and writer-director David Ayer (End of Watch) while a cinecast from the red carpet and simultaneous screenings will take place at cinemas across the UK.

The tank drama, co-starring Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Scott Eastwood, Michael Pena and Jason Isaacs, was recently moved up in the US from November 14 to October 17, making it closer to the Telluride and Toronto film festivals, which is where Pitt’s 12 Years a Slave debuted last year. However, so far neither festival has confirmed the film.

The London berth marks a homecoming for the film, which shot for 12 weeks in Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire last year.

The buzzed-about shoot was not without incident, however, as director Ayer and distributor Sony were forced to issue apologies after some local residents and media took offence at the production shooting on Remembrance Sunday.

Fury’s instatement also means the festival will be bookended by Second World War dramas, opening as it does with code-breaking film The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Fury is set in April 1945 as the Allies make their final push in Europe. The story follows a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) in command of a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. 

Outnumbered and outgunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.

Producers are Bill Block, David Ayer, Ethan Smith, and John Lesher. Executive producers are Pitt, Sasha Shapiro, Anton Lessine, Alex Ott, and Ben Waisbren.

Clare Stewart, BFI London Film Festival Director, said: “Fury is a resounding cinematic achievement. Rarely is a film so successful at balancing the human drama of war with such thrilling action sequences.

“We look forward to welcoming LFF alumni David Ayer and Brad Pitt to London as we draw the 58th BFI London Film Festival to a monumental close.”

Director David Ayer added: “It is a great honour for our film to be chosen for the closing night celebration of the BFI London Film Festival – one of the leading festivals in Europe. 

“It’s a true pleasure to be returning to England, where we shot the film – the fields of Oxfordshire and Bovingdon Airfield in Hertfordshire were our home for 12 weeks last year, so it’s something of a homecoming for us to present the movie at its European premiere.

“I’m thrilled that Festival audiences will be among the first in Europe to see it.”

Sony will release the film in the UK on October 24.