‘Room’ Director Lenny Abrahamson to Adapt WWI Thriller ‘The Grand Escape’

     March 29, 2016

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It’s always interesting to watch genre trends sweep the film industry, and while formative historical moments are never far from Hollywood’s mind, it seems the World Wars are about to be in vogue. Christopher Nolan is gearing up to shoot his World War II evacuation thriller Dunkirk, Joe Wright is in talks to direct the Winston Churchill drama Darkest Hour, and now THR reports that Room helmer Lenny Abrahamson is set to adapt the World War I POW tale, The Grand Escape.

While no screenwriter has been set at this point, the film is based on the upcoming novel by historical fiction author Neal Bascomb, The Grand Escape, which chronicles the story of The Great War’s most infamous mass prison escape.

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Image via A24

THR describes the plot:

The Grand Escape is the true story of three daredevil World War I pilots being held in Germany’s most infamous POW prison. The story chronicles WWI’s greatest mass prison escape, and the pilots’ subsequent flight to freedom.


Abrahamson just earned an Academy Award nomination for his direction on Room, which racked up four nominations in total and a Best Actress win for Brie Larson. Along with Room, his previous film, the Michael Fassbender-led comedy Frank, have solidified himself as one of the most exciting, unpredictable voices in filmmaking. The Grand Escape promises to be another unexpected turn for the director, even if it is another escape tale, offering him a new genre and time period to stretch his creative talents. If his previous films are any indication, and especially now that he has some Oscar cred under his belt, we can look forward to some impeccable casting.

For The Grand Escape, Abrahamson will re-team with Ed Guiney’s production company Element Pictures, who partnered up with Film4 to acquire the rights in a “competitive situation.” He is also currently attached to direct A Man’s World, which recounts the tale of boxer Emile Griffith, who took the life of another fighter in the ring during a live broadcast in 1962.


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