Henry Plitt, owner of Showscan and former head of the Plitt Theater Circuit, is producing a $15 million feature dramatizing Israel’s 1981 bombing of Iraq’s nuclear reactor.
Although the project takes on more currency because of the war in the Persian Gulf, the film has been in development the past year, according to Plitt.
The picture, “First Strike,” will be a fictional drama based on the nonfiction book of the same name (published by Simon & Schuster) by Shlomo Nakdimon. Nakdimon, a former press aide to former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, had access to secret government files in documenting the planning and execution of the attack.
Plitt, who will be executive producer, is making the film through his recently formed Plitt Amusement Corp., successor to Plitt Entertainment Group. He operates the entity independently of Showscan. It will be Plitt Amusement’s first production.
Sidney J. Furie will direct Kevin Elders’ screenplay. Shooting is scheduled to get under way this spring in Israel and Europe. Cast and crew will be drawn from the U.S., Israel and Europe.
Cooperation of the Israel Government Film Center and the Israeli Air Force have been obtained, according to Plitt. The film will dramatize the intelligence gathering and military preparation for the strike, and will advance the proposition that the raid may have prevented an Iraqi nuclear attack.
Aerial scenes will be shot with a system similar to those used in “Top Gun,” “Iron Eagle” and “War & Remembrance.” F-15s and F-16s will be utilized.
Furie and Elders collaborated on the screenplays for “Iron Eagle” and “Iron Eagle 2,” which Furie directed as well.