Michael Bay to Produce and Potentially Direct WW II Thriller 'Sabotage'

Michael Bay filming Transformers: Age of Extinction

He's currently preoccupied with putting together his fourth (and, supposedly, final) Transformers film, Transformers: Age of Extinction, but that hasn't stopped director Michael Bay from looking ahead to the future. Bay recently let it be known that he wants to explore the horror genre sometime in the future, even though he's currently developing two combat-oriented movies (as potential directing vehicles for him, after he finishes Age of Extinction): a Ghost Recon video game movie adaptation and the WWII thriller, Sabotage.

Sabotage is based on a non-fiction book proposal by former journalist-turned author Neal Bascomb, with the full title Sabotage: A Genius Scientist, His Band of Young Commandos and the Mission to Kill Hitler's Super Bomb. The events that are chronicled therein occurred in 1942, when a brilliant scientist escaped the Gestapo and managed to alert the Allies that the Nazis had started their own nuclear program to develop an atomic bomb. A team of nine Norwegian commandos were assembled to lead an assault on Hitler's nuclear weapon facility, which was location deep within Nazi-occupied territory (surrounded by icy and nearly inaccessible ice-covered mountains).

The Wrap is reporting that Paramount Pictures has acquired the screen rights to Sabotage, with Bay onboard to produce and develop the project as a potential directing vehicle. Although elements of the story have previously been brought to cinematic life in such films as the 1973 BBC documentary The Saboteurs of Telemark (you can watch it on Youtube) and the 1965 release The Heroes of Telemark - starring Kirk Douglas and the late Richard Harris - Bascomb's pitch is being sold on the promise that it will explore the tale "with greater depth as a gripping WWII action-thriller."

Kirk Douglas in The Heroes of Telemark
Kirk Douglas in 'The Heroes of Telemark'

Awards season-friendly movies about the second World War aren't going to be falling out of style anytime soon (see: this year's addition to the pile, in the shape of George Clooney's The Monuments Men). However, whereas most of the WW II movies released over the last fifteen years have proven unable to make a statement about the war that's as meaningful as Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, upcoming films like Sabotage and David Ayer's WW II tank action/thriller Fury could bring something new and substantial to the table (read: what being in the war felt like).

Of course, the concern is that if Bay directs Sabotage, then it might reduce the interesting real-life story to hollow spectacle and/or backwards-thinking Hollywood melodrama (like Bay's previous WW II film, Pearl Harbor). Such mistakes may be less likely to be repeated in this case, seeing how the events behind Sabotage lend themselves more to a contemporary movie variation on the Dirty Dozen and/or Great Escape-style men on a mission setup. Still, that will is part depend on who is brought aboard to write the screenplay; not to mention, whether or not Bay actually decides to direct the movie.

Does Sabotage sound interesting to you? If so, do you think Bay should direct?


We'll keep you posted on the status of Sabotage as the story develops.

Source: The Wrap

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