Kenneth Branagh To Direct THE BOYS IN THE BOAT About U.S. Olympic Rowers Who Embarrassed Hitler

Never a company to miss an Oscar baiting project when they see one, The Weinsteins have just won a fierce bidding war for the film rights to the upcoming book 'The Boys in the Boat' by Daniel James Brown, based around a 17-page proposal that tells the story of the 1936 U.S. Olympic crew of Washington University rowers who embarrassed Adolf Hitler's athletes in Berlin. With just securing Best Picture for the same-era set historical drama The King's Speech, and with a story described as a cross between Chariots of Fire (itself a Best Picture winner) and Seabiscuit (Best Picture nominee), you can probably see why The Weinsteins were so desperate to pick it up, fronting at least $750,000 for the rights. Variety says The Weinsteins were bidding on behalf of Kenneth Branagh, who will direct the adaptation. As the book is only in proposal form and has not yet been written, no screenwriter will be sought for a while, so don't expect this one to film this year. Though perhaps it could be an Oscar 2013 contender. Just watching the video below (the men's eight crew event is the latter one shown), you can easily see the cinematic potential in this tale... Next up post-Thor for Branagh, who is putting final touches ahead of it's release in seven weeks time, will be Italian Shoes, an emotional drama about an old man who is asked by an old flame, terminally ill from cancer, to fulfill a promise he once made to her. Anthony Hopkins is due to star in that movie that will film in the fall. Branagh's attachment to The Boys in the Boat could be significant for his future at Marvel as it may indicate that he won't be available to direct a potential Thor sequel after next year's Avengers.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.