Film4 and Element Pictures have optioned author Neal Bascomb’s “The Grand Escape,” with Lenny Abrahamson on board to direct.
Element Pictures, which worked on Abrahamson’s Oscar-nominated “Room,” and Film4 teamed up to acquire the rights in a competitive situation.
The book tells the true story of three daredevil World War I pilots being held in Germany’s most infamous POW camp. The story chronicles WWI’s greatest mass POW escape, and the pilots’ subsequent flight to freedom.
Bascomb, whose book “The Winter Fortress” will be published in May, is still writing “The Grand Escape.” The book will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Abrahamson received two Oscar nominations for writing and directing “Room,” which won an Oscar for actress Brie Larson. He is also attached to direct “A Man’s World,” about boxer Emile Griffith, who took the life of another fighter in the ring during a live televised broadcast in 1962.
Abrahamson’s past credits include “Frank” and “What Richard Did.” He is repped by WME and the Casarotto Agency in the U.K.
WME also repped the film rights. The news was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.