Bay producing Heroes of Telemark film, may direct
Paramount has bought the rights to a non-fiction book called Sabotage: A Genius Scientist, His Band of Young Commandos, and the Mission to Kill Hitler's Super Bomb by Neal Bascomb, a book that looks at the team assembled to try and put an end to the Nazi plan to create a nuclear weapon.
The story has already been seen in film under the title of the Heroes of Telemark, a 1965 film which starred Kirk Douglas, Richard Harris and Michael Redgrave but now it looks like it will receive a more modern and factual telling of the story, perhaps.
I say perhaps because with the story that Paramount have bought the rights to the book to develop into a film comes the news of who will direct and produce and it's the man who directed and produced the film Pearl Harbor.
The attraction here is that Neal Bascomb is a former journalist and the non-fiction novel is supposed to take a very factual look at the story behind the actual events. Here's a blurb for the book which sets us up for the film:
Set in 1942, the story follows a brilliant scientist who flees the Gestapo to inform the Allies that the Nazis are secretly developing a nuclear program at an industrial fortress called Vermork deep in the mountainous expanse of Norway's Telemark region. Knowing that Hitler gaining nuclear capabilities would be unthinkably catastrophic, the Allies assemble a fearless team of nine Norwegian refugee commandos to infiltrate the Nazi-occupied country. In an apparent suicide mission, this team must brave the arctic landscape and pull off an impossibly daring assault on Vermork, which sits perched on impenetrable, icy cliffs. With little more than parachutes, skis, tommy guns, and explosives, the team is the Allies' only hope to halt Hitler's nuclear ambitions, and their adventure is one of WWII most thrilling, action-packed tales.
I remember seeing their story told through a documentary some time ago and I was amazed at how heroic these people really were, the journey they had to complete around their mission was terrifying enough but the odds were stacked against them and it marked a hugely important point of the war.
This isn't really a remake of The Heroes of Telemark, it's just that it already told the story, now we have the potential for a much more factual telling of the events, the question will be how will the Bay produced script turn out and, if he directs, how it will translate to film.
I am hoping for a film that will be more factual than something like Pearl Harbor but without any offence meant to Bay, he's all about the entertainment so expect big explosions, swooshing cameras and a heart tugging love story too. Somewhere beneath that there will be a thread concerning the Nazi's nuclear weapon programme and the small Norwegian team trying to destroy it.