Just as Guy Ritchie wraps up his latest movie Five Eyes starring Jason Statham, the British filmmaker has signed on to direct the World War II movie Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare for Paramount.
The film is based on Damien Lewis‘ book Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: How Churchill’s Secret Warriors Set Europe Ablaze and Gave Birth to Modern Black Ops, and it has been in the works at Paramount since 2015, when the studio first acquired the rights. The latest draft of the script was written by Arash Amel (A Private War), while The Fighter scribes Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson penned an earlier draft.
Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare takes places in 1939, when Winston Churchill decided to fight a little dirty against the Germans by creating Britain’s first black ops unit, more or less, who were tasked with striking behind enemy lines. The group’s tight-knit members knew they were likely to die in battle and that the government would deny their existence, but they won important victories against the Nazis using a combination of deception and brute force — breaking all the accepted rules of warfare along the way.
Deadline broke the news, reporting that Jerry Bruckheimer will produce under his eponymous company along with Chad Oman, while Ritchie‘s frequent collaborator Ivan Atkinson will executive produce. Paramount‘s Vanessa Joyce will oversee the project for the studio, which will hopefully consider changing its clunky title.
Ritchie made his bones directing British gangster movies such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels as well as Snatch before moving on to direct big-budget blockbusters including Sherlock Holmes and Disney‘s live-action Aladdin starring Will Smith. Warfare is, obviously, a fact-based film, though it should allow Ritchie to put his own spin on the WWII movie subgenre, which could be quite exciting, indeed. I thought Ritchie‘s most recent film, The Gentlemen, was a return-to-form for the director, and I eagerly await Five Eyes as well.