Is ‘Fury’ Based On A True Story? Your Questions Answered

Nearly a decade after the film’s release, the 2014 war-action film Fury is trending at the top of Netflix’s U.S. movie charts. If you’re watching Fury for the first time, you might have questions about the movie’s backstory — including whether the tank crew depicted in the film existed in real life.

Directed by End of Watch and Suicide Squad director David Ayer, Fury takes place in April 1945 during the final months of World War II. The film follows U.S. Army Sergeant Don “Wardaddy” Collier, played by Brad Pitt, and his battle-hardened tank crew comprised of Boyd “Bible” Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Trini “Gordo” Garcia (Michael Peña), Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis (Jon Bernthal), and Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman).

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The crew is part of an Allied invasion of Nazi Germany to defeat Hitler’s army. But when they push deeper into enemy territory, the crew of Fury (the tank’s name) find themselves on a life-or-death mission.

Fury premiered in theaters in October 2014 and grossed $211 million worldwide, per Box Office Mojo. The film has received positive reviews, boasting a 76% critics’ score and an 84% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Is Fury Based On A True Story?

The movie Fury is not based on a specific true story, and the characters are fictional. However, the film was inspired by the real experiences of tank crews during World War II. Director Ayer was also influenced by reading books like Belton Y. Cooper’s 1998 memoir Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II.

To prepare for their roles, the cast of Fury met with real-life tankers from WWII to learn what it was like. Pitt told USA Today at the time that the veterans talked about the constant lack of sleep, exhaustion, and the wear and tear on their psyches. “When the movie begins, you feel that from us. You don’t feel like we just put on our uniforms,” he said.

Peña added that he felt a strong sense of brotherhood among the tank crews they talked to. “There’s a lot of love going, and we tried to capture that.”

The actors also endured a week-long “boot camp” and a longer-than-usual pre-production process to give them perspective on being a soldier. That way, the first day on camera “was really day 60 and it just felt like another day,” Pitt told the site.

What Kind Of Tank Was In Fury?

In Fury, the film crew used three different tanks for the movie, including “a late-war Sherman with a 76mm gun on loan from the Bovington Tank Museum in England,” according to Popular Mechanics.

Because filming inside the tanks proved impossible due to the cramped space, production designer Andrew Menzies had to create a separate set to showcase inside Fury.

“That was the biggest technical challenge,” Menzies told the site. “It’s a very small set, and every wall had to fly away, allowing David to shoot from any angle. At the same time, it would be on a gimbal, moving around, so that it would feel like a moving vehicle. And of course, as we were shaking it around, it couldn’t have any wobbling or loose parts.”

To create the tank’s interior, the crew scanned the inside of a real tank and then enlarged it by 10 percent, according to Popular Mechanics. Then, using the scan, they built a set from a box metal frame with a resin-fiberglass coat. Additionally, 42 pieces of flyaway wall float in and out, making it easy for cameras to be placed anywhere on the inside.

“It is amazing how well you get to know each other, five men in a tin can,” Pitt told USA Today. “There’s something that feels safe about it and quiet and above the hubbub of a set. It was kind of nice actually, just staying in there. We’d just (talk) and smoke and stink and have a laugh.”

Watch the trailer for Fury below.

Stream Fury on Netflix.

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