Oliver Parker Will Tackle Dunkirk

Working Title buys new script

World War II is clearly on filmmakers and studios’ minds today (just in time for Valentine’s Day! How romantic!), as in addition to David Ayer selling a US army tank thriller, Working Title has snapped up Gavin Scott’s script about the dramatic and chaotic Dunkirk evacuation of 1940.

Oliver Parker, who last made Johnny English Reborn, is attached to direct Dunkirk, which is set during the operation.

With Germany on a rampage across Europe and English, French and other Allied forces were on the retreat and backed up against the coast with the Germans approaching. Threatened with disaster, the UK launched a daring rescue mission consisting of every ship they could spare, down to small river boats, crossing the English Channel to get as many troops as possible to safety.

In the end, almost 200,000 British soldiers and nearly 140,000 French fighters were evacuated, and the battle proved to be a huge moment in the course of events, giving the British a key morale boost in the darkest days of the War.

Dunkirk has been portrayed several times on the screen before, off-screen (but as a pivotal moment) in Mrs Miniver, in 1958’s version starring John Mills, in a 2004 docu-drama and tangentially in Atonement. Given its historical importance, there will be pressure to get this one right…