Will "liberal Hollywood" finally make a straightforward statement (or at least a sideways swipe) on governmental policy and this century’s Middle East catastrophe? Or will we have to wait for the next movie set in futuristic London for some overt political perspective?

We’ll see how an A-list filmmaker like Ron Howard deals with Iraq — he and crazyhair partner Brian Grazer have grabbed a script called Last Man Home.  Set just before the commencement of the Iraq War in 2003, the Universal movie involves a US military team searching Iraq for a soldier who went missing during the Gulf War (apparently it took them more than 10 years to plan the recovery mission). I bet it turns out he’s in a cave.

While everyone else is racing to make the next big gay hit, this project joins a tiny batch of movies revolving around the appallingly perpetual Iraq situation, including Home of the Brave with the amazing Jessica Biel. Howard will next untangle biblical conspiracies with Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code.