Woody Guthrie tunes to feature in WWII film

Mimi Leder will direct “Remember Their Names,” a film about a young merchant marine’s tour of duty in WWII alongside Woody Guthrie.

Scripted by Leder’s brother, Reuben Leder, the film is based on Jim Longhi’s memoir “Woody, Cisco & Me.”

Leder, who helmed the upcoming Morgan Freeman-Antonio Banderas Millennium Films heist film “Thick as Thieves,” will produce “Remember Their Names” with Alexandra Yacovlef and Alexia Melocchi. Yacovlef and Melocchi’s Little Studio Films, a production-management company, has brought in Italian vfx company Ghost Behind the Chair to provide partial financing. Ghost CEO Giorgio Prandoni will also serve as a producer on the pic.

“Names” will be shot in New York and Sicily, and Mimi Leder hopes to make the film her next directorial outing.

Before Longhi became an attorney, politician and playwright, he enlisted in 1943 and crewed with Guthrie and folksinger Cisco Houston aboard Liberty ships.

Guthrie’s tunes are a big part of the story, as the trio sung and played their way across the Atlantic and Mediterranean to Sicily and then Normandy.

“It is an untold aspect of WWII, with great characters and music,” Leder told Daily Variety. She said that she and her brother Reuben worked together when he did a rewrite on “Thick as Thieves,” and that they also teamed on “Sentimental Journey,” a script originated by her father, the director Paul Leder.

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