A new thriller is on its way from screenwriter Gregory Burke (’71) and director Jose Padilha (Robocop), based on the real life hostage situation that unfolded at Entebbe International Airport in Uganda in 1976 – and Daniel Bruhl and Rosamund Pike are in talks to star. Entebbe will see the actors play two of four hijackers who took control of a plane full of passengers, and created a week-long ground siege that was ended by Israeli Commandoes.
The Air France flight in question was travelling from Tel Aviv to Paris when it was seized by two people fighting for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, as well as two German hijackers from the Revolutionary Cells. After a brief re-fuelling stop in Libya, the hijackers forced the plane to land at Entebbe Airport, as the Ugandan Government was supportive of their action. Approximately half the hostages were released, and the rest were transferred to airport buildings. The demands made by the hijackers included the release of 40 Palestinian militants who were incarcerated in Israel at the time, as well as 13 prisoners from other countries.
Operation Entebbe was the name of the action undertaken by Commandoes from the Israel Defense Forces – a plan that was complicated by the hostile nature of the country in which the hijackers landed. Supporting the hijackers, Ugandan President Idi Amin visited the hostages regularly and, when the Israeli raid finally commenced, Ugandan soldiers opened fire on the escaping Israeli forces and surviving hostages.
The rescue operation lasted 90 minutes, and 102 of 106 hostages were extracted alive. The unit leader of the Israeli Commandoes was killed during the operation – and he was the elder brother of current Israeli President, Benjamin Netanyahu. After the operation was complete, President Amin of Uganda reportedly ordered the killing of several hundred Kenyan citizens that were in Uganda at the time, in retaliation for Kenya providing assistance to the Israel Defense Forces.
Entebbe will clearly be a very tense, dramatic film, and it is due to begin principal photography in October of this year. If their commitment to the film is confirmed, Daniel Bruhl and Rosamund Pike will play the two German hijackers involved in the siege – Wilfried Bose and Brigitte Kuhlmann. Hopefully, we will soon hear who will be joining them in the cast – particularly in the roles of the Palestinian fighters.