The next 'Act of Valor' projects will feature pararescuemen and SWAT team members, not Navy SEALs. (Relativity Media)
The 2012 Hollywood blockbuster starring active-duty Navy SEALs has spawned a franchise, but the SEALs aren’t along for the ride.
“Act of Valor,” a drama conceived as a Naval Special Warfare Command recruiting commercial that ended up as a top-grossing feature film, will live on in television form on the National Geographic Channel, the network and the show’s producers announced in an Oct. 7 news release. But the scripted series — a first for National Geographic — will focus on pararescuemen, not SEALs.
The Navy has no plans to participate in the series at this time, according to Capt. Russell Coons, director of Navy Office of Information West, which serves as a liaison to the entertainment industry.
“We have been made aware through industry contacts that the proposed series is NOT about Navy Special Warfare or SEALs,” Coons said Tuesday in an email.
A spokesman for Tandem Communications, one of the co-producers of the series set to begin production next year, said in a Tuesday email that the new “Act of Valor” is still in its “conception stage” and would not say whether there would be any official involvement from Air Force pararescue units or any other military branch.
“After the success of our documentary series ‘Inside Combat Rescue,’ about [pararescuemen] in Afghanistan, we wanted to tell more incredible stories about these heroes,” Howard Owens, president of National Geographic Channels, said in the release. “This series will allow us to do so in an exciting, dramatic way.”
The channel has seen big ratings in earlier attempts at scripted programming. “SEAL Team Six,” a drama loosely based on the SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden, was NatGeo’s highest-rated show of 2012, the release said. Its best 2013 performance came from “Killing Lincoln,” based on the best-selling book by Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.
Tandem will team with Relativity, which produced the “Act of Valor” movie, on the NatGeo program. The Bandito Brothers production team, which worked on the film, also is expected to be involved in the show, according to a Deadline.com report.
While the “Act of Valor” offerings share military roots, another offering may be en route to theaters, minus the service members entirely.
Deadline.com reported in August that Relativity and the Bandito Brothers are making “Act of Valor 2” — a drama involving SWAT team members.
The Defense Department “has no rights or disclaimer for the title used in the original production,” Coons said.
The first “Act of Valor” made more than $80 million and was the top-grossing film in the U.S. the weekend of Feb. 24, 2012, beating out “Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds” by nearly $10 million, according to cinema-tracking website Box Office Mojo.