The recently separated Marine veteran, then 26, was toasting with a group of friends in New York City when one member of their party suggested the zany idea of smuggling a little in-person support â€” and beer â€” into Vietnam for their deployed friends.
Donahue volunteered for the job, and within days, was on a Merchant Marine vessel armed only with a backpack full of booze, a few pairs of shorts and Hawaiian shirts.
Chickâ€™s journey of trading in the opulence of the City That Never Sleeps for the war-torn jungles of Vietnam, one that put him in dangerous proximity to the Tet Offensive, would eventually form the foundation for the aptly-named book he co-authored, â€œThe Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty and Warâ€.
Now, that story is slated for a big screen adaptation courtesy of Oscar-winning director Peter Farrelly (â€œGreen Book,â€ â€œKingpin,â€ â€œDumb and Dumberâ€) and a cast that should excite cinephiles everywhere.
â€œThe Greatest Beer Run Everâ€ â€” why mess with a fitting title? â€” is set to star Zac Efron (â€The Greatest Showman,â€ â€œBad Neighbors,â€ â€œDown to Earthâ€) in the role of Donahue, Deadline first reported, with Russell Crowe (â€Gladiator,â€ â€œA Beautiful Mindâ€) and Bill Murray (too many classics to adequately summarize) expected to be involved as well.
Farrelly, whose Oscar-winning 2018 film â€œGreen Bookâ€ starring Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen grossed $321 million internationally, is sharing scriptwriting duties with Brian Currie (â€Green Bookâ€) and Pete Jones (â€Hall Passâ€).
The film is expected as an Apple Original Films feature, according to Deadline, with production scheduled to begin in August.
So, raise your glasses, because this is going to be a fun one.