Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum) is in talks to direct The Tunnels, an 80s set Cold War film about a group of East Berliners plotting an escape to the west. Based on a true story, the film will be an adaptation of a not-yet-written book by author Greg Mitchell, so a film appears to be some ways away.
Mitchell, an author known for writing politically and historically charged books, had his book proposal for The Tunnels acquired by FilmNation Entertainment. Mitchell has written books about Chelsea Manning and WikiLeaks, two recent American stories covered extensively by media outlets. For The Tunnels, Variety reports that Mitchell is writing about a group of West Germans who are trying to rescue their loved ones out of East Germany with the assistance of the American media.
Paul Greengrass is known to gravitate towards historically based material, having directed films like Bloody Sunday, United 93, Green Zone, and Captain Phillips. Mark Gordon, who is set to produce, also has some experience in historical content, having produced The Messenger and Saving Private Ryan. Those two names give the project a high profile draw.
With Greengrass returning to direct the latest installment of the Bourne franchise with actor Matt Damon, and a still pending book by Mitchell, there is still a lot that can change between now and when a script is finalized for FilmNation, but producer Mark Gordon seemed enthusiastic and hopeful about the project:
“Paul and I have been looking for a project to work on together for some time. Separately, we have both been fascinated by stories around the Berlin Wall. While the wall fell in 1989, its consequences are still being felt today. We are thrilled to be working with FilmNation to bring this emotional story to the screen.”