I owe deep thanks to Arianna Huffington for the opportunity to write this brief article about my current project. I'm not aware of anyone in the film industry ever before writing in public about a film project in development and welcoming your questions, and personal interest. But the Huffington Post is no ordinary news site, and its readers are sophisticated, curious and open.
I am fascinated by the movie business: its history, commerce and, above all, its ability to shine light on corners of history that have remained too long in the dark. We've seen recent examples of this in The Monuments Men, and Angelina Jolie's directorial debut, Unbroken. A few months ago, I was sent a screenplay Under The Shadow, which chronicles the now almost forgotten valor and exploits of "The Flying Tigers", a volunteer group of the Chinese Air Force comprised of American pilots of the Army, Marine Corps, and Navy and commanded by the extraordinary General Claire "Lee" Chennault. Chennault was a tactical genius, but more importantly, he was the personal creation of then-President Franklin Roosevelt, who was determined to protect the Chinese from the invading, menacing Japanese military of the era. The Flying Tigers saw action 12 days after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.
The story only deepens in fascination, and I read the screenplay Under The Shadow, with a growing sense of mission: this was a story that needed to come to life on the screen and to be guided by a gifted director. James Fargo was exactly the right man for the job. A veteran in his industry, Fargo came up through the ranks of film and television, until he became a full-fledged director of Clint Eastwood films. Fargo understands much: the American movie-going audience's love of action, and the even deeper cultural traits we share in a love of military courage, and cunning.
Chennault was not only brave, he was cunning. He out-thought the Japanese Air Force at every turn and these exploits and the real-life heroes who surrounded him, and sometimes died for him, deserves to be told.
Under The Shadow is in development. And my email is below for those who wish to learn more about how this movie is being made, or wish to become more involved in the exciting project I'm shepherding to success.