Bradley Cooper Leading Ghost Army For Warner Bros.


Though Aloha was a critically derided dud, the film’s failure isn’t expected to hurt star Bradley Cooper, seeing as much of the scorn was leveled at director Cameron Crowe and (to a lesser extent) Emma Stone for playing a character outside her race. With culinary pic Adam Jones and biopic Joy out this fall, Cooper is gearing up for a much better rest of his 2015, and now he’s boarding another fascinating project.

According to Deadline, Warner Bros. has secured rights to Rick Beyer and Elizabeth Sayles’ WWII nonfiction The Ghost Army Of World War II: How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived The Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, And Other Audacious Fakery. Cooper and Todd Phillips are producing out of 22 & Green, with American Sniper producer Andrew Lazar also on board in the same capacity, and they’ve set Earth to Echo writer Henry Gayden to pen a script. Cooper may also star.

The story centers on the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, a 1,100-man unit made up of architects, actors, engineers and set designers, all tasked with impersonating other U.S. Army units to deceive the enemy. With inflatable tanks, fake radio transmissions and trucks that created the sounds of a legitimate army unit, they fooled German units during WWII.

Understandably, the stranger-than-fiction story of The Ghost Army had been kept under wraps for some time, but their actions saved lives on the battlefield by deflecting enemy troops, and there’s a movement to get the unit’s members a Congressional Gold Medal. Such a push will certainly be galvanized by a Hollywood take on the service that the unit’s valiant members performed for the Allied forces in the midst of a brutal war. In short, it’s really shocking that The Ghost Army hasn’t been the subject of a narrative pic up until this point – credit PBS’ documentary The Ghost Army (watch it on Netflix) with drawing more eyeballs to the fantastic story, and check out the synopsis for Beyer and Sayles’ book below.

In the summer of 1944, a handpicked group of young GIs—including such future luminaries as Bill Blass, Ellsworth Kelly, Arthur Singer, Victor Dowd, Art Kane, and Jack Masey—landed in France to conduct a secret mission. Armed with truckloads of inflatable tanks, a massive collection of sound-effects records, and more than a few tricks up their sleeves, their job was to create a traveling road show of deception on the battlefields of Europe, with the German Army as their audience.

From Normandy to the Rhine, the 1,100 men of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, known as the Ghost Army, conjured up phony convoys, phantom divisions, and make-believe headquarters to fool the enemy about the strength and location of American units. Between missions the artists filled their duffel bags with drawings and paintings and dragged them across Europe. Every move they made was top secret and their story was hushed up for decades after the war’s end. The Ghost Army of World War II is the first publication to tell the full story of how a traveling road show of artists wielding imagination, paint, and bravado saved thousands of American lives.

Source: The Playlist