Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Photo: Craig F. Walker (Getty Images)

Some stories—violent ones, mostly—are far easier to digest as fiction than they could ever be in real life. Die Hard would be a national tragedy if it happened in the real world, for instance; ditto Con Air, or any other classic action flick with a high enough body count and wanton disregard for personal property damage. Still, every now and then a real-world incident does happen that is, indeed, completely terrible, while also inevitably making you think, “Damn, that would be a cool movie.”

Take, for instance, the much-reported story of Colorado resident Marvin Heemeyer, who, in 2004, decided to take out his grievances with the town government of Granby, Colorado in perhaps the most imaginatively destructive fashion possible: Unleashing his secret project, an armored bulldozer he’d been working on for a year and a half, which he used to quickly demolish the town hall, a newspaper that had editorialized against him in a local zoning dispute, and pretty much anyone else who’d ever pissed him off, all while police futilely attempted to bring his rampage to a halt.

To be clear: Heemeyer was almost certainly insane, and definitely a terrorist (by any reasonable definition of the word, anyway), which makes it a little hard to take any glee in his actions—even if, if they’d happened in a movie, they would have been undoubtedly and extremely cool. On the other hand, he was a terrorist who—thanks in part to speedy evacuations on the part of the authorities—didn’t kill anybody but himself (after his vehicle got a tread stuck in a basement), and who spent a year-and-a-half building a secret personal bulldozer battle tank. So maybe it’s okay if we think it’s a little awesome, at least in theory? (Our favorite touch: Heemeyer equipped his “Killdozer”—as the vehicle has since been dubbed—with cameras protected by three inches of bulletproof plastic, just to make sure cops couldn’t shoot them out.)


Now, producer Doug Liman and director Paul Solet will, indeed, finally be giving Heemeyer’s actions the movie treatment it’s been begging for for 14 years, with Deadline reporting that they’re working on a documentary about him titled Tread. The film will reportedly talk to multiple people who witnessed Heemeyer’s attack; presumably, it’ll also tap into the copious notes and audio recordings he left behind about his planning and motivations. It’s probably too much too hope for some kind of live reenactment, too—the original Killdozer was ripped to shreds to dissuade fans or collectors from trying to secure a piece of its lunatic history for themselves—but hey: We can always dream.

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