The Dunkirk evacuation, one of the biggest course changing moments of World War II, is set to be brought to the big screen in a new movie from Working Title UK.

Deadline say Oliver Parker is attached to direct Dunkirk, a spec script from Gavin Scott that will re-tell the story of courage from those British civilians who over nine days in May 1940 used hundreds of small boats to cross the English Channel to rescue 200,000 British and 140,000 French troops from the advancing Germans. In British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s immortal We shall fight them on the beaches speech on June 4th, he hailed the rescue mission as a “miracle of deliverance”.

For Parker, this will be his most mature film for a while having previously shot the oddball adaptation of Dorian Gray and the two farcical comedies St. Trinian’s and most recently Johnny English Reborn, the latter which was a big hit in the UK and contributed to its $160 million international gross on the star power of Rowan Atkinson. He also helmed 2002′s The Importance of Being Earnest and Laurence Fishburne-led Othello and one wonders whether this is the kind of picture he has wanted to make for a while and the Johnny English sequel profits has granted him that license.

Meanwhile, Scott’s writing credits include family-friendly fare Small Soldiers and The Borrowers.

The most famous adaptation of the history changing events was 1958′s Dunkirk, starring John Mills, and it’s been too long since it has been re-told on the big screen.

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This article was first posted on February 14, 2013