Chinese WWII Pilot Story 'Flying Tigers' in the Works at Skydance, Alibaba Pictures

Courtesy of Skydance Media
David Ellison, Randall Wallace

'Braveheart' writer Randall Wallace will pen the script for the film about the volunteer pilots who fought in WWII.

Skydance Media and Chinese film company Alibaba Pictures have teamed to finance and produce the feature film The Flying Tigers for global release.

Oscar-nominated writer Randall Wallace (Braveheart) will write the script, which is a story of brotherhood centered on the Flying Tigers, also known as the 1st American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force. Led by Captain Claire Lee Chennault, the group made up of volunteer pilots fought alongside the Chinese during World War II.

“This production partnership with Alibaba Pictures on Flying Tigers marks an important next step in our strategy to expand the reach of the Skydance brand on a global basis,” Skydance Media CEO David Ellison said Wednesday in a statement. “We could not be more excited to work with the incomparable Randall Wallace to bring to life the extraordinary, untold story of the great commitment and sacrifices made by this courageous group of pilots.”

Skydance and Alibaba Pictures previously worked together on Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation.

Wallace wrote and directed Heaven Is for Real, The Man in the Iron Mask and We Were Soldiers and also wrote the screenplay for Pearl Harbor. The author of eight novels, he also worked on the screenplay for the upcoming Hacksaw Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson.

Skydance recently announced that the company had raised $700 million of financing for film, TV and interactive projects. Its upcoming projects include Star Trek Beyond, with Paramount, set to bow July 22; Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, with Paramount, scheduled to open Oct. 21; Geostorm, with Warner Bros., set to debut Jan. 13, 2017; and Life, with Sony, slated for a March 24, 2017, release.