Posted on Monday, June 1st, 2009 by Brendon Connelly
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Moon‘s writer-director Duncan Jones has lined himself up an adaptation of Alex Kershaw‘s non-fiction WWII book Escape From the Deep. Alex Kershaw will himself be writing the screenplay. Even though this is ‘True Story’ material, you may wish to consider much of what I’ll be discussing after the break as spoiler material, so be warned.
In the book, Kershaw recounts an episode of the Pacific War in which a handful of surviving crew members from the USS Tang struggled to get free of their sinking submarine after it was hit by one of its own torpedoes. There were nine men that swam free, via the torpedo tubes, and made it to the surface where, eventually, they were picked up by Japanese ships. They were then taken into custody by the Japanese and reportedly starved and tortured.
I imagine that the film will close out with the guys making it to the surface – or, just perhaps, it will be recounted in flashbacks from the point of view and time of their incarceration by the Japanese, climaxing with the dual conclusions of them being picked up by the ships and also the war ending and them being released. That seems to be good value stuff, offering two endings for one, plus the stirring parallels possible in cross-cutting between prisoners of war and men fighting for their life in the cruel ocean.
I’ve still not seen Moon yet but I have it on good authority that it is really very wonderful. Judging from the trailers and clips I have seen I’m inclined to expect I’m going to enjoy it tremendously. Similarly, Escape From the Deep seems to have the right story and the right talent to be the best submarine-related picture in an awfully long time. I feel good about this film, and only partly because its such a sunny day.
There are two snippets of Jones-quotage in the Hollywood Reporter piece. Here they are with the frankly superfluous stuff about Jones’ dad and Tony Scott cut out:
Jones [...] described Kershaw’s book as a “powerful story that will come alive on the big screen.” He said he hopes to create a “tense action movie” from the story.
No indication on when the film will go into production, but it seems likely this project will roll before Jones’ self-penned sci-fi thriller, a Berlin-set thriller that Jones previously compared to Blade Runner, if only because the money is already in place for Escape, and that this money is talking to the trades.