Room Director Lenny Abrahamson Plotting The Grand Escape At Element Pictures


Poised to reteam with Element Pictures following their collaboration for last year’s critical darling Room, director Lenny Abrahamson is attached to helm WWI prisoner-of-war thriller, The Grand Escape.

That’s according to The Hollywood Reporter, revealing that Neal Bascomb’s eponymous novel has been tapped for a big-budget adaptation, telling the true story of three maverick pilots who find themselves locked up in a notorious German POW prison. Still to hit store shelves, the author is currently penning The Winter Fortress ahead of its May release, though there’s no word of a writer that will help transition Bascomb’s taut WWI thriller onto the silver screen.

What we do know at this early stage is that Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe are on board to produce via Element Pictures, with the production banner expected to partner with Film4. As THR points out, Abrahamson’s feature will revolve around “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.”

Not to be confused with John Sturges’ seminal wartime drama – The Great Escape took place in World War II – Bascomb’s account of The Great War is a harrowing, yet spirited tale of the resilience of the human spirit. Meanwhile, Abrahamson, hot on the critical success of Room and the Michael Fassbender-fronted Frank, is a filmmaker you daren’t take your eye off, and we have every confidence that Grand Escape will mark another competent feature for the director.

The Grand Escape is one of several high-profile wartime projects currently incubating in development. Just yesterday, we reported that Pan director Joe Wright had been brought aboard to steer Winston Churchill biopic Darkest Hour, while in northern France Christopher Nolan is primed to jump-start production on his own WWII epic, Dunkirk.