As something of a World War II buff, my radar can’t help but find itself tracking potential projects set around the most fascinating period of our recent past. Variety reports today that German mini-major production company Constantin Films has set away Stuttgart born Hollywood director Robert Schwenkte (Red, Flightplan) to direct The Poison Kitchen, an English language Second World War thriller that it’s hoped will film next year.
The movie is based on the brave attempts of the journalists and editors at the Muenchener Post newspaper who had a decade long campaign to criticise Adolf Hitler and his politics ‘exposing their crimes, internal intrigues, and scandals’ during the early days of the Nazi party’s rise to prominence in Germany, proving a real thorn in the side of the future Fuhrer. Of course it would all be in vein as Hitler managed to get into power and the whole newspaper, which Hitler nicknamed the “Munich Pest’ was quickly burnt to the ground, the office building completely destroyed and the staff locked up. The newspaper would never print another issue after being shut down in 1933.
So what we have here could be something like All The President’s Men meets every Nazi war picture ever made – a combination we never thought we’d see but instantly you can see the story potential in this one.
Though there are some clear warning signals been given off here – one that the screenplay comes from Matthew Sand, writer of the ludicrous Ninja Assassin and two, that the head of the studio is thinking more along the lines of a thriller than political drama.
Of course the latter in of itself isn’t THAT worrying as there is definitely a way to do this story as a thriller and keep the intrigue but in choosing the writer they have, who isn’t particularly one for nuance or the depth of material and then choosing the director of Red which similarly carried neither, this does makes us shudder a little.
Before The Poison Kitchen can get before camera’s, Schwentke will helm the exciting multi-genre mid-level blockbuster R.I.P.D. with Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges and Kevin Bacon that will shoot later this summer for a release June 28th, 2013.