Paul Greengrass Directing Berlin Wall Drama
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

FilmNation Entertainment has acquired film rights to Greg Mitchell’s book proposal for Berlin Wall drama “The Tunnels” and attached “Captain Phillips” director Paul Greengrass to helm.

Mark Gordon (“The Messenger,” “Saving Private Ryan”) will produce the escape drama with FilmNation, which is continuing to amplify its production and financing activity on high-profile projects.

“The Tunnels” is the true story of a great escape before the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. The story focuses on a group of West Germans trying to get their loved ones out of East Berlin, with the unlikely help of American news networks, who funded their expedition.

The deal was brokered by Aaron Ryder and Alison Cohen on behalf of FilmNation, and CAA.

“Finding an untold true story of this caliber is such a rarity,” Ryder said. “Greg’s proposal will make for a very human and cinematic experience. We have no doubt that Mark’s producing and Paul’s directing will make audiences around the world as excited about this film as we are.”

Greengrass’ directing credits include “United 93” and “The Bourne Ultimatum.”

Mitchell has written “The Campaign of the Century” (winner of the Goldsmith Book Prize) and “Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady.” He has also co-authored two books with Robert Jay Lifton and a baseball memoir “Joy in Mudville.” He is co-producer of the current documentary “Following the Ninth,” on the global political influence of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and is co-writing the companion book, “Journeys With Beethoven.”

“Paul and I have been looking for a project to work on together for some time,” Gordon said. “Separately, we have both been fascinated by stories around the Berlin Wall. While the wall fell in 1989,  its  consequences are still being felt today. We are thrilled to be working with FilmNation to bring this emotional story to the screen.”

The Mark Gordon Co. is in production on several television series including “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC), “Criminal Minds” (CBS), “Ray Donovan” (Showtime) and its most recent project “Benched,” a courtroom comedy for USA Network staring Eliza Coupe and Jay Harrington, set to premiere on Oct. 28. Gordon’s past film credits include “Day After Tomorrow,” “Speed,” “The Patriot” and “Wonder Boys”; he develoing “Jobs” for Sony.

Michelle Wolkoff will oversee “The Tunnels” for the shingle.

FilmNation is in pre-production on Denis Villeneuve’s “Story of Your Life” with Amy Adams starring and in development on “The Good House” with Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro and “In the Event of a Moon Disaster” with Tate Taylor directing. Its releases this year include “A Most Wanted Man,” starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and “The Rover,” staring Guy Pearce. Upcoming releases include “The Imitation Game,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and J.C. Chandor’s “A Most Violent Year,” starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain.

CAA represents Mitchell, Greengrass and Gordon. Mitchell is also represented by Gary Morris at the David Black Agency.

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