Skydance and Alibaba Pictures are teaming on The Flying Tigers, a film about the volunteer group of U.S. Army Air Corps, Navy and Marines that defended China against Japanese forces before America entered World War II. They were conscripted into the 1st American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force. Braveheart scribe Randall Wallace is set to write the script, with Skydance’s David Ellison and Dana Goldberg producing alongside the Alibaba Pictures team.
Tommy Lee Jones is too old, remember Chenault was in his 40s, I think more of Josh Brolin. I used to think Laura Prepon for Emma Jane "Red" Foster, but now she's more of an Olga Greenlaw IMHO.
Trick is finding guys to play the Pilots and ground crews. You need people in their early to mid 20s. I don't want to see a bunch of Disney Child Actors
Who do you focus on? I think a Petach/Foster relationship for the Love interest, tell the true story.
We recently saw Tommy Lee Jones in the movie Jason Bourne. He looks really old...I agree that Chennault would be better played by Josh Brolin.
Hollywood seems to need a big romance (sex) in a screen play, so I think Red with Petach would fill that bill. Not Chennault and Madame CKS, as in one screen play we saw.
Josh Brolin would be perfect. He played Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black 3 and did a really great job. Chennault and Madame Chang? Did I miss something in history? In the original 1942 John Wayne Flying Tigers, John Wayne had a relationship with the nurse. I guess a Red and Petach relationship would work too.
----------------------- Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truckload of brains. Author unknown. Found in a fortune cookie and that's the honest truth.
I don't think you have to focus on Chenault, but he should be a part of it. I think you somehow intermingle the stories of different people who went to China and why. I have always had in my mind an opening scene with Erik Shilling in a movie theater watching the MovieTone News Reels shot by the Japanese Defensive Gunners of their bombs falling out of their Bombers. The Gunners had no opposition from the Chinese Air Force so they could shoot the footage of the bombs falling from the planes hitting the targets. Then the MovieTone News Footage shows the devistation caused by the Japanese Bombers, the now Orphaned Child sitting alone crying. The Erik jumps up in the theater outraged by what he had seen and determined to do something about it. He goes back and looks through his (I think it was a Life Magazine) for the Article about how the Chinese Government was hiring pilots (I recall hearing there was a magazine article that some of the pilots had read before the recruiting had began) He goes back to his base and asks about joining up for China. Have "Tex" Hill perhaps looking at the same magazine and maybe talking to Bert Christman about his time in China as the son of a Missionary and how he wanted to do something the help the Chinese people. Then maybe Greg Boyington being talked too by his Commanding officer about an opportunity that had arrisen which may help him with his financial situation and other related difficulties.
Some how you mix in the money in the eyes of guys who joined the labor force during The Great Depression and what an opportunity it would be. The money they were offering was a GIGANTIC Sum in the eyes of people who had to struggle through the great depression.
Somehow you fit Charles Older, R.T. Smith, Dick Rossi, Charlie Bond, Robert Sandell and others into the story.
Maybe you fit the Dr. and Reverend into the story, how they got drawn into the AVG.
Of Course you have to have Olga Greenlaw in the story, she was too much of a Character not to be in a movie about the AVG. Reading her book she was pretty fond of "Sandy" Sandell, maybe have something on their relationship, she seemed to have taken it pretty hard when he died.
Erik Shilling took it pretty hard when Lacey Mangleberg got killed.
Show the training accidents, was Bert Christman killed in a training accident.
Show them overcoming the difficulties being at the end of the supply chain, the ingenuity that was shown to overcome the hard ships.
Show the ground crews stripping everything useable from damaged aircraft to keep the planes they had flying.
Bert Christman was, three times, a member of the Catepillar Club....using a parachute to descend from a damaged aircraft. Unfortunately, the 3rd time was a fatal one. It appears that he was strafed by Japanese pilots while descending. He may have died from the bullet wounds and/or from the impact with the ground due to his damaged parachute.
Yes, Shilling would have been affected by Lacy's death due to the faulty navigational aids which they were given when departing the RAF airfield....it was a crude mimeographed map of the area. When they stopped to refuel their flight of 3 CW-21 high performance interceptors, the Brits could not offer addtl. maps because the flight was headed to Kunming (off the range of the RAF maps). The 3 a/c carried no radios (not yet installed). Shilling saw a CNAC flight which gave a reference course bearing to Kunming but Lacy & Ken Merritt did not see or understand his visual signals. Lacy tried a wheels-down landing and was severely injured with Merritt surviving but sadly dying a few weeks later while he was sleeping in an AVG car off the side of a runway. A landing mishap (faulty hydraulic line sprayed fluid into the eyes of Peter Wright who was landing during a night mission) caused a P-40 to veer off the runway...and into the AVG car...killing Merritt instantly.