After his stint on the teen drama series The O.C., Benjamin McKenzie has been preoccupied with several film projects. His latest endeavour involves playing the lead role in the remake of Johnny Got His Gun, a 1971 anti-war film based on the classic 1939 novel of the same name.
Slated for release in 2008, Johnny Got His Gun explores individual morality and the interplay between science, medicine, religion and politics. It revolves around Joe Bonham, played by McKenzie, as a young American soldier hit by an artillery shell on the last day of the First World War. As a quadruple amputee who has lost his eyes, ears, mouth and nose, he lies in a hospital bed but remains conscious and is able to reason. He struggles to communicate to his to his doctors his wish to be put in a show in a carnival as a demonstration of the horrors of war.
Although the 28-year-old actor has played various roles in the past, this is his first time to tap into this type of character that explores strong anti-war, pro euthanasia and anarchist themes.
Aside from playing Ryan Atwood on The O.C., he has also made several guest appearances on television shows like JAG, The District and Mad TV. On the big screen, he has acquired roles in the comedy drama Junebug and the 2007 crime drama thriller 88 Minutes, alongside Al Pacino.
The upcoming film is the latest of version adapted from the 1939 novel written by Dalton Trumbo, who also directed his own 1971 film adaptation, which featured Timothy Bottoms, Diane Varsi and Jason Robards. On several occasions, it has also been referenced in popular culture and has inspired a few plays and songs as well.
-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
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