Leading Hollywood screenwriters Bruce McKenna and John Fusco have been tapped by U.S-based Inspire Studios to write two Asian-themed war features. One will go into production this year, the other in 2023, Variety has learned.
McKenna, who co-wrote and co-produced the Emmy-winning mini-series “The Pacific,” and wrote part of “Band of Brothers,” is attached to the company’s debut release, Filipino-Hollywood feature “Angel Warrior” as scriptwriter. Cyrus Nowrasteh (“The Stoning of Soraya M”) is already attached a writer.
The picture is being produced by Inspire Studios’ founder and CEO Francis Lara Ho and executive produced by John Shepherd (“The Stoning of Soraya M.”), Thailand’s Buranasompod Pongrapee and Manny Pacquiao, the renowned Filipino boxing champion, politician and media personality.
Based on a real WWII story, “Angel Warrior” stars Philippines actor Bea Alonzo as Tala, a pre-war era Filipina whose near-death experience transforms her into an underground fighter, described as a “she devil.” She aided and fought alongside the poorly-equipped Filipino and American guerillas on the island of Panay as part of the country’s resistance movement against the Japanese occupation. The project is slated for production this year.
Alonso was previously named as a Talent to Watch by Variety and the Internationals Film Festival & Awards Macao in 2019.
Fusco (“The Forbidden Kingdom,” “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny”) and his son Giovanni have committed to write the screenplay for the studios’ second release “Palawan: Last Man Out.” Also fact-based, the film recounts the story of 150 American prisoners of war who were burned alive during in the Philippines by their Japanese captors. The father-and-son team previously penned Netflix series “Marco Polo.”
Both “Angel Warrior” and “Palawan” will likely be shot in the Philippines and Thailand.