StudioCanal Boards World War II Thriller ‘The Last Battle’

StudioCanal is developing a World War II movie about U.S. and German soldiers teaming up for a rescue of French prisoners near the end of the war in the Austrian Alps.

The French company has acquired movie rights to Stephen Harding’s “The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces In The Waning Hours Of World War II In Europe.” The Picture Company’s Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman will produce with Bryce Zabel, who adapted the book.

Harding’s book, published in 2013 by Da Capo Press, describes a mixed force of U.S. Army, German Wehrmacht and Austrian resistance fighters acting together to prevent the recapture of 14 French prisoners being held at Itter Castle. An SS assault party had been ordered to retake the prison shortly after Adolf Hitler’s suicide in April, 1945.

The prisoners included two former French Prime Ministers, two former commanders of the French military, the son of former prime minister Georges Clemenceau and Marie-Agnès de Gaulle, sister of General Charles de Gaulle.

Rona and Heineman are also producing the upcoming Liam Neeson thriller “The Commuter” for StudioCanal. Lionsgate announced at the American Film Market last month that it had acquired the U.S. rights to “The Commuter” and Ewan McGregor’s “Our Kind of Traitor.”

The news about “The Last Battle” was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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