Robert Redford plans to produce a film based on Peter Shelton’s book “Climb to Conquer: The Untold Story of WWII’s 10th Mountain Division Ski Troop.”
Kurt Johnstad (“Act of Valor,” “300: Rise of an Empire”) is in discussions to adapt the story about the U.S. Army division’s little-known victory in the mountains of Italy that had soldiers scale the treacherous rock walls of Riva Ridge and conquer a German position that was previously considered untouchable. It enabled the Allied forces to finally break the stalemate in Italy.
The story of the 10th Mountain Division is especially compelling considering it revolves around the sole group of Army soldiers trained to rock climb and ski and handle extreme mountainous conditions during the late 1930s. Group was made up of professional athletes, college scholars and potential officer candidates, and as the last U.S. division to enter the war in Europe, suffered the highest number of casualties per combat day.
Members included the Sierra Club’s David Brower, Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, who developed the waffle-sole running shoe, and Aspen Skiing Corps founder Friedl Pfeifer.
Redford will produce the film with Bill Holderman through his Wildwood Enterprises banner. Wildwood is in production on an adaptation of Bill Bryson’s book “A Walk in the Woods.”
Eric Bromberg and Stephen Michael of Bare Knuckle Media also are attached as executive producers.
Shelton, a writer for Men’s Journal and Ski magazines, is repped by the Elizabeth Kaplan Agency. Scribner published “Climb to Conquer” in 2003.
Redford and Johnstad are repped by WME.