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Jerry Bruckheimer Is Killing Rommel
Randall Wallace to adapt WWII novel

03 September 2008  |  Written by Chris Hewitt  |  Source: Variety

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What with Quentin Tarantino about to start shooting on Inglorious Bastards, and Tom Cruise attempting to kill Hitler in Bryan Singer’s much-delayed Valkyrie, it seems that World War II movies are all the rage now.

And Jerry Bruckheimer’s getting in on the act.

Bruckheimer has snapped up the rights to Steven Pressfield’s recent novel, Killing Rommel, which tells the story of the British army’s attempts to stop Rommel, the legendary Desert Fox, as he and his tank battalions proved to be a particularly painful thorn in the side of the Allied efforts in North Africa and the Middle East, circa 1942.

Bruckheimer has set Randall Wallace, who wrote Braveheart (one in the credit column) and directed We Were Soldiers (one in the debit), to write the screenplay.

This sounds like it could be a cracker. Pressfield is a wonderful author who can capture the madness and camaraderie of war, while Wallace – despite his directorial misfire – is a fine screenwriter who also knows a thing or two about war. And, while there have been movies made about the North African campaign to stop Rommel – notably Henry Hathaway’s 1951 movie The Desert Fox, with James Mason – there hasn’t really been a stone-cold classic, to our minds.

So this Disney film has a real shot at being something special, especially when you consider what advances in special effects could do for tank battles on the big screen.

There’s no news of a director yet, but Wallace is committed to directing a horse-racing film, also for Disney, so it won’t be him.

And in other Pressfield news, his peerless novel Gates Of Fire, about the Thermopylae conflict, is still in development at Universal, with David Self on scripting duty.

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Your Comments

Opinions ...
are like buttholes. Everyone's got one, and they all stink! Including mine, and including the opinions offered by reviewers. Make up your own mind and ignore the star rating system. Maybe it's time to get rid of it? It might encourage the writers to offer more constructive criticism and stop. Using. Bad. Grammar. or trying to inject jokes when they aren't needed. Yesterday their was a reference to football on this site. That sh*t needs to stop. More

Posted by Nicky C at 09:39 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

Empire opinions
This article directed readers to related links, one being the Empire review of We Were Soldiers, which is mocked in the article above in an odd way, I read the review, and having not seen the film would be persuaded by the review to see it. Either Empire need to develope a new rating system for films as the five star thing is obviously not working, since Anchorman which is regarded as a classic by them received the same rating as We Were Soldiers. The half witted and often revoked bilge of Empir More

Posted by baronbeefgoathead at 02:19 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

Directorial Misfire?
Wait a second... We Were Soldiers was a decent film! It was given a good review by Empire!? I don't see why it was a "directorial misfire"??? If anything... His Pearl Harbour script was a misfire. Pearl Harbour sucked. (And I miss you) More

Posted by Barry at 16:11 on 03 September 2008 | Report This Post

Killing Rommel
Why is We Were Soldiers in the "debit" column. It was a very good film. I remember that Empire gave it three stars which used to mean "Good". Having said that, the Phantom Menance got five stars...... More

Posted by RAJEEVSHETTY at 15:32 on 03 September 2008 | Report This Post

Optimus Prime in WW2?
Sounds promising. Although slightly concerned at what the inevitable American re-writing of history will be as surely they wont stand for a film about British soldiers? So will the general be Optimus Prime? Will the Nazis be played by terrorists? And just how bad was Pearl Harbour. Not really relevant but always worth mentioning. More

Posted by Blyman at 11:42 on 03 September 2008 | Report This Post

Randall Wallace is fantastic...
I am sick of people critising Randall Wallace. Braveheart was indeed a great script, and as for We Were Soldiers, I think it is absolutely brilliant, going so far as to say that it is one of the best modern depictions of war and the army (up there with the much maligned Saving Private Ryan). I served as an officer in the Infantry for 5 years and can tell you that aspects of it are incredibly realistic. Don't comment on what most of you out there have no idea about. More

Posted by jameslowe at 11:37 on 03 September 2008 | Report This Post

Killing Rommel
'Rommel' is a fantastic book so this is great news. Should be interesting to see who they cast to portray the members of the Long Range Desert Group. I'd love to see more of Pressfield's books adapted, most notably his Alexander duo but after Stone's turkey, this is unlikely. Good start to the day methinks. More

Posted by Timon at 07:49 on 03 September 2008 | Report This Post

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