Story by: Jack Foley
CLINT Eastwood has decided to direct two films on the World War
Two conflict of Iwo Jima - one from the US perspective, and the
other from the Japanese.
The Oscar-winning director has been so moved by his research
into the battle that he felt the subject warranted two companion
He is set to complete principal photography in Chicago on the
first of the two films, Flags of our Fathers, and will then start
shooting the companion piece, tentatively called Lamps Before
the Wind, in February next year.
Both are being scheduled for simultaneous release next Fall.
The decision to produce the two movies was revealed by longtime
Eastwood colleague, Richard Schickel, in an article in Time magazine.
Flags of Our Fathers is based on the best-selling book by James
Bradley and Ron Powers. It recounts the tragic tale of the six
young US Marines who raised a huge American flag atop Mount Suribachi
in the midst of the great battle for Iwo Jima during World War
The battle remains the bloodiest engagement in US Marine Corps
history and the one for which the most Congressional Medals of
Honor were awarded, 27.
Casualties were high on both sides, with only about 200 of the
22,000 defending soldiers surviving.
While researching the film, however, Eastwood realised that he
had to find a way to tell both sides of the story as separate
Paul Haggis had already been asked
to provide a script for Flags Of Our Fathers but was too busy
to contribute his skills to Lamps Before the Wind.
But he did recommend an aspiring young Japanese-American screenwriter,
named Iris Yamashita, who had helped him research Flags, saying
that she might be able to do it.
Eastwood subsequently met with her and, based on a gut reaction,
gave her the job. He liked her first draft so much that he bought
According to Schickel, the two films 'will show that the battle
of Iwo Jima and the whole war in the Pacific was not just a clash
of arms but a clash of cultures'.
Flags of Our Fathers will focus on the bravery of the Americans
who fought for each other as much as their country, while Lamps
will highlight the suffering of the Japanese, many of whom were
forced to defend the isle in the face of overwhelming odds.
Yamashita's script is said to be 'relentlessly cruel', exposing
the fact that in essence, the Japanese officers compelled the
bravery and suicide of their troops at gunpoint.
According to the Time website: "Only the Japanese commander,
Lieut. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi (a mysterious historical
figure who fascinates Eastwood), and a fictional conscript, Saigo,
whose fate Yamashita intertwines with his commanding officer's,
demonstrate anything like humanity as a Westerner might understand
Casting has yet to be announced for Lamps, although Jesse Bradstock,
Ryan Phillippe and Adam Beach have been recruited for Flags.
Related stories: Read
the full Time article
Eastwood asked to
respect war dead
More casting news for Flags