Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American epic war film directed, produced, and co-written by Francis Ford Coppola. It stars Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Frederic Forrest, Albert Hall, Sam Bottoms, Laurence Fishburne, and Dennis Hopper. The screenplay, co-written by Coppola and John Milius and featuring narration written by Michael Herr, is an updating of Joseph Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness. The setting was changed from late nineteenth-century Congo to the Vietnam War ca. 1969–70, the years in which Green Beret Colonel Robert Rheault, commander of the 5th Special Forces Group, was indicted for murder and President Richard Nixon authorized the secret Cambodian Campaign. Coppola said that Rheault was an inspiration for the character of Colonel Kurtz. The voice-over narration of Willard was written by war correspondent Herr, whose 1977 Vietnam memoir Dispatches brought him to the attention of Coppola. A major influence on the film was Werner Herzog's Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972), which also features a river journey and an insane soldier. The film revolves around a river journey from South Vietnam into Cambodia undertaken by Captain Benjamin L. Willard, who is on a secret mission to assassinate Colonel Kurtz, a renegade Army officer accused of murder who is presumed insane.