Executive producer, writer and two-time Academy Award-winner Mike Boal is big military movie enthusiast, boasting past credits that include “Hurt Locker” (2008), “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) and “Triple Frontier” (2019).
On Nov. 23, he will begin his first foray into television with the launch of the series “Echo 3,” a show he says provides more room for a broader story and character development.
“The great benefit is you get more time,” Boal told Military Times. “With the additional 10 hours, you can kind of build a more populated world, characters and take audiences on a more nuanced journey.”
Debuting on Apple TV+, “Echo 3″ is a veteran drama that centers on the microcosm of personal relationships within the military community. These bonds, however, anchor a much larger story than even the characters can fully comprehend.
Its lead characters, Bambi (Luke Evans) and Prince (Michiel Huisman), are a pair of veteran special operators who become brothers-in-law after their stint as brothers in arms.
Prince is married to Bambi’s sister Amber (Jessica Collins), a research scientist exploring drug therapies who is later kidnapped in a political plot that threatens to expose a war in the remote jungles near the Colombia-Venezuela border.
A rescue mission involving Prince and Bambi ensues, unveiling an interpersonal dynamic, as both family and former soldiers, that becomes a driving force in the narrative.
Maintaining a sense of legitimacy in crafting these military-centric characters is both an expertise and non-negotiable for Boal. It’s that attention to cultural detail that separates an inspired, earnest and gritty military drama from another run-of-the-mill military action movie.
“I think that sometimes veterans — or just active-duty military — are portrayed in the media or in Hollywood in a kind of cookie cutter or cartoonish way,” Boal said. “I would hope that we avoid that pitfall, and that even though all these characters are fictional, we portray them with the complexity and the dignity that they deserve.”
Echo 3 arrives on Apple TV+ Nov. 23.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.