Handmade preps Stirling biopic

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LONDON -- Writer Rupert Walters has been given a mission -- to pen a screenplay on the wartime activities of soldier and Special Air Services founder David Stirling, production company HandMade Films said Monday.

The recently relaunched shingle said it has optioned Alan Hoe's "David Stirling: The Authorized Biography" by Alan Hoe, which gives a detailed account of the history of the SAS -- an elite fighting force -- during the North African campaign in the early 1940s.

The then-26-year-old Stirling led the first successful "special operations" raid behind German lines in December 1941 and, over the course of the next year with his unit, birthed the SAS.

Walters said in a statement that he has been "fascinated by the exploits and achievements of David Stirling for many years" and was looking forward to bringing the man and his myth to the big screen.

Added HandMade Films managing director Antony Rufus Isaacs: "This is an epic and incredibly exciting project that HandMade Films is embarking on. Everyone is familiar with the SAS, but few people know of its origins. David Stirling was the driving force behind the birth of the SAS, a clandestine group which sets the standard for all special forces."

Walters' previous credits include episodes of BBC ratings smash "Spooks" and the feature film "Restoration," starring Robert Downey Jr., Sam Neill and Meg Ryan.
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