Only The Brave: Movie based on Granite Mountain Hotshots, Yarnell Hill Fire premieres in Tempe

Hotshot movie 'Only The Brave' premieres in AZ
Hotshot movie 'Only The Brave' premieres in AZ
Hotshot movie 'Only The Brave' premieres in AZ
Posted at 7:13 PM, Oct 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-11 09:01:50-04

It's a period in Arizona history that is difficult to forget.

On June 30, 2013, 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite group of wildland firefighters in Prescott, died after they were overtaken by flames from the Yarnell Hill Fire.

It is the deadliest firefighting event since the September 11 attacks. 

In the time that has passed since, a memorial state park has opened in the team's honor with trails that follow the same rugged terrain the crew found themselves in. Foundations have been created. Books have been written.

And now, Hollywood is prepared to release a movie (Friday, Oct. 20) based on the events that unfolded. 

Only The Brave tells the story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. It shows the grueling training they underwent to become hotshots. It dives into some of their personal lives -- their relationships and struggles. It also shows their friendships and loyalty to the team. 

The film stars Josh Brolin as Eric Marsh, superintendent of the Granite Mountain Hotshots; Miles Teller as Brendan McDonough, the sole survivor; Jeff Bridges as Duane Steinbrink, the fire chief of Prescott's Steinbrink, the fire chief of Prescott's wildland division; and Jennifer Connelly as Amanda Marsh, Eric's wife.

On Tuesday, a local premiere and red carpet event took place at Harkins Theatre at Tempe Marketplace. Members of the cast, including Brolin and Teller, and former Hotshot McDonough were in attendance.


  • According to film notes released by Sony Pictures, the 20 actors playing members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots were sent to a wildland boot camp in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • A majority of the movie was shot in New Mexico over the course of 60 days.
  • The town depicted as Yarnell in the film is actually Pecos Village in New Mexico. Some scenes were also shot in Los Alamos and White Rock.
  • Brandon Bunch, a former Granite Mountain Hotshot, played the role of his friend and hotshot, Garret Zuppiger, who died in the fire.