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 (who received an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay) and narration written by Michael Herr, is a loose adaptation of the novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. The setting was changed from late 19th-century Congo to the Vietnam War 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 is about a river journey from South Vietnam into Cambodia undertaken by Captain Benjamin L. Willard (a character based on Conrad's Marlow and played by Sheen), who is on a secret mission to assassinate Colonel Kurtz, a renegade Army officer accused of murder and who is presumed insane.