Story by: Jack Foley
THE story of one of America’s most important World War
II battles, which also gave rise to one of the world’s most
famous monuments, is to be turned into a film by Steven Spielberg
and Clint Eastwood.
The dream-team duo will produce and direct an adaptation of James
Bradley’s book, Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima,
for the former’s Dreamworks studio.
The battle for the island of Iwo Jima, in early 1945, was a turning
point in the fight for control of the Pacific, but also saw some
of the war’s bloodiest fighting involving US troops. In
total, 21,000 Japanese and 6,800 US soldiers were killed in combat
within a single month.
Yet, the ensuing American victory produced one of the war's most
enduring images - a photograph of six soldiers raising a US flag
on the flank of Mount Suribachi, the island's highest point, which
has since been turned into one of Washington’s most prominent
monuments, as well as being one of the most enduring images of
the Second World War.
It also provided the inspiration
for a similarly symbolic gesture following the September 11 attacks
of 2001, in America, when US firefighters were pictured defiantly
raising the American flag in the days following the collapse of
the Twin Towers.
However, the picture, by Associated Press photographer, Joe Rosenthal,
was at the centre of a controversy, when it emerged that it had
not been captured while the troops were under fire, as first suggested,
but may have been posed.
Of the six soldiers in the photograph, however, three were killed
in combat, while those who survived were hailed as heroes.
The story of their lives after the war, however, made for tragic
reading. Ira Hayes, took refuge in drink and was killed in a fight,
while Rene Gagnon could not convert his fame into a full-time
The last, John Bradley, never spoke about his experiences to
his family and his heroism only came to light when his son, James,
discovered his past, following his death, in 1994.
He subsequently wrote the best-seller upon which the film will
The eagerly-anticipated project will mark the second collaboration
between Spielberg and Eastwood, following The Bridges of Madison
County, in 1995, which Eastwood directed and starred in, and Spielberg
The script for the film is being written by Paul Haggis, who
is also working with Eastwood on another film, Million
Eastwood to produce
two Iwo Jima movies