'The Sapphires' Scribe Keith Thompson to Pen 'Vienna Boys Choir' Biopic

Courtesy of Keith Thompson
Keith Thompson

StudioCanal Australia is developing the film that tells the story of the boys in the choir who chose to stay down under after they were stranded in Australia during World War II.

StudioCanal Australia is developing Vienna Boys Choir, with Goalpost Pictures and Screen Australia, as the second feature under its Cultivator Fund. 

Penned by The Sapphires screenwriter Keith Thompson and to be produced by Goalpost's Rosemary Blight, Vienna Boys Choir tells the true story of the world-famous choir whose 1939 world tour to the U.S. and the Pacific saw the 20 young boys, ages 8 to 14, their choir-master and a tutor trapped in Australia for the duration of the Second World War.

The tour—supposedly a PR exercise for the Nazi regime—became a life-changing experience for the boys, all of whom, except one, chose to remain in Australia after the war to forge new lives. 

Thompson said he’d been inspired by the story since he’d heard it 30 years ago and has been researching and authenticating every step of the way. “Its one of those stories that’s impossible to forget, since it's the stuff of a great movie drama,” he said. 

Earlier this year, StudioCanal Australia said it would invest in a biopic of beauty maven Helena Rubinstein as the first feature in its Cultivator Fund.