Fresh off her work keeping Fox’s Fantastic Four copyright intact for another few years, Kate Mara has apparently set her sights on becoming the world’s most beloved actress, signing on to star in a movie about a Purple Heart-adorned Iraq War veteran who fought against an unfeeling bureaucracy to save the life of her battle-wounded hero dog. The film, as-yet-untitled, is based on the true story of Marine corporal Meagan Leavey and her canine partner, Rex, and is being directed by Blackfish’s Gabriela Cowperthwaite.
Leavey and Rex performed more than 100 missions together across two tours in Iraq, until 2006, when both were wounded in an explosion. Leavey was discharged, but Rex was kept on, serving for another five years in a bomb-sniffing unit. The eventual development of nerve paralysis rendered the German shepherd unfit for duty in 2011, and the military scheduled the dog to be euthanized. But Leavey successfully fought for the right to adopt Rex instead, gaining national news coverage in her efforts to reunite with her partner, regardless of the fact that her story was at risk of warming people’s hearts to a potentially dangerous degree. (Rex eventually died in Leavey’s care in 2012, at the age of 11.)
Mara will play the Marine corporal in the film, which begins shooting in October. The role should finally give the actress a chance to show audiences her dark side, really tapping into the bomb-defusing, dog-loving war veteran she’s always known was lurking within.