Report: Reese Witherspoon to produce ‘Ashley’s War,’ story of fallen 1LT

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Reese Witherspoon, left, will produce a film telling the story of 1st Lt. Ashley White, right, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2011 while serving with a cultural support team alongside Army special operators. (Getty Images/Associated Press photos)

Reese Witherspoon, left, will produce a film telling the story of 1st Lt. Ashley White, right, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2011 while serving with a cultural support team alongside Army special operators. (Getty Images/Associated Press photos)

The story of the first cultural support team member to be killed in Afghanistan will be brought to the silver screen with the help of an Academy Award-winning actress, Deadline.com reported earlier this week.

Fox 2000 teamed with Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard production company to secure film rights for the upcoming book “Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield,” according to the entertainment-news website. The title references 1st Lt. Ashley White, who was killed in a roadside bomb blast in Kandahar province’s Zhari district on Oct. 22, 2011.

White was part of the second group of CST members to deploy to Afghanistan, according to an Associated Press report published shortly after her death. The female soldiers deployed alongside special operations units to assist in areas critical to the mission but sensitive to the population — searching women for weapons, for example, or finding insurgents who were using burqas as disguises.

The Alliance, Ohio, native volunteered for the job, according to her Army Special Operations Command biography. It was her first deployment to Afghanistan. She was 24.

The book, written by bestselling author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, already ranks as a top Amazon.com new release despite being a month away from the shelves. The Deadline.com report doesn’t say whether Witherspoon will play White, but notes the age difference: The actress turns 39 later this month.

Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard co-produced the 2014 thriller “Gone Girl,” and while she was open to playing the role that eventually went to Rosamund Pike, she told The Hollywood Reporter that she agreed with director David Fincher’s decision to go a different direction.

No casting details or potential release dates have been reported.

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