Deadline is exclusively reporting that Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s has found his next project after A Prayer Before Dawn, where he’s signed up to direct Jungle Solider, a film based on the remarkable life and career of World War II soldier Freddy Spencer Chapman.
Freddy Spencer Chapman, a decorated war hero, was raised in a vicarage after losing both parents at an early age. He would go on to scale the Himalayas, learn to speak Inuit, become a botanist, write, photographer and anthropologist. In 1941, with the Japanese invading forces advancing fast, Chapman (then a British soldier) volunteered to operate a counter insurgency behind enemy lines in the Malayan jungle. In a fiercely dangerous environment, assumed dead and at the mercy of local feuding guerrilla factions, he pushed himself to his physical and psychological limits in order to survive. He was captured by both the Japanese troops and the Chinese bandits, escaped both of them, and spent seventeen days in a semi-coma, suffering from tick-typhus, blackwater fever, pneumonia and chronic malaria.
Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire released a statement saying:
Jungle Soldier is absolutely fascinating to me – seeing how this Englishman, hooked by danger since his childhood, spent all those years surviving in the Malaysian jungle is more than an incredible true story balancing the horror of the war with the beauty of the nature, or a physical and emotional experience, it’s a life lesson: a remarkable account of superhuman bravery, resourcefulness in adversity, endurance, passion and courage.
Jean-Stéphane is an immensely gifted film maker, whose work puts the viewer through an immersive and visceral cinematic experience. It is an absolute privilege to be working alongside a director whose qualities perfectly compliment the source material, and we absolutely cannot wait to bring this story to life with him.
Nada Cirjanic, Head of Sales at Great Point said:
Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire is a stunning filmmaker – you watch his films and hear his voice, see his vision, feel his energy. We’re thrilled to be working with such talented producers as Emily and Oliver. They have the taste and craft to bring this story from page to screen and are both at the forefront of an exceptional new group of young British producers who are making exciting and unique films.
Great Point Media and Wigwam are developing the project, based on the script written by Ben Mac Brown.