Battle Rattle

We made the mistake of asking readers who would play Mattis in a movie. The response was swift and decisive

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Given that Brad Pitt has been cast as the Army’s Gen. Stanley McChrystal in a movie, we felt inclined to ask our readers on Facebook who could possibly play the role of Mad Dog, were he a character to be cast in a blockbuster film (certainly only a matter of time, right)?

In completely unscientific fashion, the results are in:

#1. James Mattis as … James Mattis james-mattis

The thread was pretty clear and near unanimous: only Mattis can play Mattis. But, clearly there were other candidates who deserved the spotlight as well.

#2. Clint Eastwood

Eastwood is certainly Hollywood’s gun toting, hard a**. Who could forget Gunny Highway. Although there was at least some indication that Eastwood may not be young enough to star as Mattis in a film. In which case …

#3. R. Lee Ermey Lee_Ermey

Seems an obvious choice. Ermey is among a handful of Marines to get promoted – to Gunny of all ranks – after ending his service. He’s also played a pretty famous role as Gunny Hartman, and he’s considerably obsessed with arms and munitions of various caliber, not unlike, one would suspect, James Mattis.

Honorable Mentions:

We heard names like Liam Neeson, James Cromwell, and Jack Nicholson. Notably, Robert John Burke (famous for playing a drunken, muscle-bound priest on the show Rescue Me) has actually already played Mattis, in HBO’s “Generation Kill.”

Rounding out the bottom of the list were these guys:

Kevin Bacon got a few shout outs, as did Jim Carrey. Chuck Norris, obviously. Bruce Willis, also pretty obvious. Any mention of George Clooney immediately met with harsh comment-section rebuke. There was a Channing Tatum shout out, hilariously enough. And finally someone needs to remind the crowd that Jason Statham, though imminently awesome, is also totally British, and thus arbitrarily not a front runner.

NOW READ: A epic piece by Marine Corps Times alum Dan Lamothe on “The Man. The Myth. The Mattis” >


  1. Chris "MoDog" Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Only Mad Dog could be Mad Dog.
    Semper Fi

  2. kwamw Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Ask who could play Chesty, then sit back and watch the fireworks lol

  3. Cpl B Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    kwamw, that’s easy, only Gen Mattis could play Chesty

  4. Butch Bracknell Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    I missed the initial survey, but my nom is Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad). No brainer.

  5. BoJangles Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Who the hell is Chesty?

  6. James Cottrell Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    I would have thought people would have mentioned Sam Elliott. He played a good Sgt. Maj. Plumley.

  7. Gunny Mac Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Who the Hell is Chesty!!!!! ????? I am shocked, BoJangles you must have never gotten past the Cub Scouts

  8. Bryan Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Robert John Burke played him in generation kill. Did a good job with the role

  9. Bradley Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Military Times – you got no balls if you don’t ask the same question for Amos…

  10. Ryan Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Uh yeah who the hell with any interest in military, any branch for that matter, asks who Chesty is. I’m hoping that was a sarcastic comment because if not you need to stop reading these articles!

  11. Jim Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Robert John Burke did a pretty solid job in Generation Kill.

  12. Cpl A Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Mattis playing himself would be awesome

  13. Jeffrey Florez Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    General Mattis should definitely play himself!

  14. cplthom Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Really no Sam Elliot,SgtMaj in We were soldiers.

  15. Robert Burke Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    I’d be honored to just carry the water buckets.
    God Bless the USMC

  16. Paul Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Amos would be played by Clint Howard, most notably in Little Nicky, that about fits the bill.

  17. Ken Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    You fucks left off Billy Bob Thronton. Now he’d be a top runner outside of Mad Dog himself

  18. Jon Beeman Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Look at the picture of Mad Dog and the only person that comes close is Gary Sinise. He would be perfect for the part

  19. greenweenie Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    I was thinking maybe Harrison Ford. Just about the right age and has the nasty grimace. Imagine the line from Air Force One “Get off my plane” but with “Get out of my Corps!”

  20. Kutter_0311 Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    I immediately recognized Burke as Mattis in Generation Kill. That show always makes me feel like I’m back with Killer Kilo.

  21. William Perkins Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    Gary Sinise starts him out and the General finishes himself. But get Hollywood to be truthful? You’ve got a better chance of seeing ELVIS.

    Ermey and Eastwood are too old. Interesting that they’re on the list, Ermey in the worst Marine Corps movie ever made “Boys in Co. C”; and Eastwood in the third worst Marine Corps movie ever made.

  22. William Perkins Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    “Heartbreak Ridge”.

  23. John powers Says:
    April 16th, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    Would someone p,ease tell “Mr. Bojangles to something he knows like biscuits

  24. Paul Dean Says:
    April 17th, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Duh…no mention of Robert Diniro? Harrison Ford would also do well.

  25. Dustin Says:
    April 17th, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Harrison Ford was rumored to play him in the film adaptation of No True Gory but that never panned out.

  26. Rudy Ramos Says:
    April 17th, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Robert Duvall

  27. Hellsbales Says:
    April 17th, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Cannot be R. Lee Ermey, he kissed another man in a movie. I can never look at him the same again after that. Mattis, no matter what the payday would never have done such a thing.

  28. frank S Says:
    April 17th, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Chesty Puller, Was a MIGHTY Marine and A Mighty Marine was He, He called for his pipe, He called for his bowl and called for his Privates three………..

  29. Chris McQueen Says:
    April 18th, 2014 at 8:58 am

    If he were still alive, my choice would have been Steve McQueen

  30. VNVet Says:
    April 21st, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Ermey is not too old and would be great, Eastwood IS too old. Mattis himself is NOT an actor…so he gets ruled out immediately. Boys in Company C had nothing to do with Ermey give bad credit to the producer. And saying Heartbreak Ridge was terrible….that’s blasphemy. They are MOVIES man get over it. Great entertainment.

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