Jonah Hill on 'crazy' true story behind 'War Dogs'

A real-life story of two Miami friends who found military business opportunities during the Iraq war was “crazy” and “unbelievable” enough for actor Jonah Hill to star in the Hollywood big screen retelling.

“War Dogs,” out in theaters on Aug. 18, is a dramedy inspired by two young men, played by Hill and Miles Teller, living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that allowed small businesses to bid on U.S. military contracts.

Starting small, they begin raking in big money and are living the high life. But the pair gets in over their heads when they land a $300 million deal to arm the Afghan military - a deal that puts them in business with some shady people, not the least of which turns out to be the U.S. government.

“it’s just a story that’s so crazy you can’t believe it actually happened,” Hill told Reuters on Thursday for a special screening of the film.

“It was just this unbelievable story about people kind of abusing the ‘American Dream’ and the character was just kind of too insane - I would’ve been too jealous if I was watching someone else play this character.”

“Hangover” director Todd Phillips, who co-wrote and directed “War Dogs,” said he was interested in the financial aspects of war and conflict.

“There are a lot of movies that have been made about war, there are a lot of movies that have been made about soldiers and how patriotic they are, there haven’t been a lot of movies that shine a light on the obscene amount of money that a small group of people make on war.”

When asked about the current political climate in the United States, in particular the 2016 presidential race, Phillips said: “It’s embarrassing for everybody involved. It’s always hard to travel when you’re an American, travel overseas, because you bring all this baggage that is America with you. Donald Trump, I think, it’s just an embarrassment to the country but I don’t think it’s going to stick.”