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'Fury' director David Ayer's rugged style was a hit with Brad Pitt
'Fury' director David Ayer's rugged style was a hit with Brad Pitt

On a cold, rainy morning in November 2013, director David Ayer was dealing with a temperamental star. Actors Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Peña and Jon Bernthal had all taken their places on the set, a farm in a sleepy town in the countryside west of London dressed to re-create Germany in April 1945. But the title character, a 70-year-old M4 Sherman tank named "Fury," had stalled in the mud. "Mud is a design element in our movie," Ayer said, as a military consultant who had driven tanks recently in Afghanistan wrestled with the vintage vehicle, trying to get it started again. The wet earth isn't just an aesthetic choice —...

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