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‘Chinatown’ Scribe Robert Towne To Pen ‘The Battle Of Britain’

'Chinatown' Scribe Robert Towne To Pen 'The Battle Of Britain'

Robert Towne needs no introduction. The writer behind “Chinatown,” “The Last Detail,” “The Rock” and more is considered the master among screenwriters, and there are few other names on a script that bring as much reverence. So who better to pair up with a movie about one of the most famous fights of World War II?

The folks over at GK Films know a good idea when they see one, and they’ve tasked Towne to pen “The Battle Of The Britain.” If you slept through history class, the massive air battle in the summer of 1940 was one of the most crucial of the war. With Germany using their notorious Luftwaffe to threaten and invasion of Great Britain, it was up to the British Royal Air Force to hold them back. It was one of the most trying and anxious times for Britons in the war but they rallied behind Prime Minister Winston Churchill who gravely intoned, “…the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin.” However, the ultimate victory over Germany marked a major turning point in the war and quashed Hitler’s plans to take over England.

It’s obviously thrilling stuff and it was been brought to the screen once before in the 1969 film “Battle Of Britain” starring Sir Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer and many more. It’s really a no brainer project, and with Towne putting it together, it should definitely attract some major talent both in front and behind the camera. As for Towne, he’s been busy penning the TV mini-series “Pompeii” for Ridley Scott (yes, the one that started a Roman Polanski project way back when). No word yet on when that might start casting or shooting.

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Great first line! No he doesn’t. Towne- guru of structure


Key to all of this will be the air battles. If they look shitty, a la the CGI in Red Tails, it could be a shitty film. They’ll need a talented director to pull it off. But it could be great fun – a chance for all sorts of veteran British character actors to chew scenery as generals and whatnot, with younger ones up in the air.

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