'Chinatown' Screenwriter Robert Towne Penning 'Battle of Britain' for GK Films

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Graham King and Tim Headington will produce the WWII feature.

Graham King’s GK Films is taking to the skies, hiring veteran screenwriter Robert Towne to pen an original screenplay titled The Battle of Britain.

Based on an idea by King and inspired by tales of World War II dogfights over London told to him by his father, the project aims to tell how the underdogs of the Royal Air Force fought off the mighty German Luftwaffe for control of the capital’s airspace.

“My father lived in London and watched this spectacular dog fight over the city, so bringing this story of endurance and triumph to the big screen means a great deal to me,” said King in a statement.

King and his GK Films partner Tim Headington will produce the project.

The company, which scored a hit with the Paramount animated movie Rango earlier this year, has three releases before the end of 2011: The Johnny Depp-starrer The Rum Diary, which opens October 28; Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, which releases November 23; and Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey, opening December 23.

Towne is the iconic screenwriter behind 1970s classic Chinatown whose credits also include Days of Thunder and Mission: Impossible. He is currently writing an original pilot titles Compadre for Scott Free and FX .