Leading Hollywood names, including that of Spielberg and Da Vinci code director Ron Howard, are being touted to bring the real-life tale of Private Horace Greasley to the big screen. The brave veteran fell victim to inconceivable torture for five years, as he was held captive at three notorious Nazi camps during World War II.
The heroic soldier fell in love with German interpreter Rosa at Lamsdorf, and the two went on to have secret affair. However, the pair got separated after Rosa moved camps, just after she became pregnant with his child. Horace knew nothing about Rosa's pregnancy, and it was only when he returned to Britain after the war that he found that his love and their baby had not survived in childbirth.
The 90-year-old, who concealed his love life for almost 70 years, first spoke of his secret memoirs in a book last year, and realised its potential as an epic tale.
"I always used to watch films about escapes from PoW camps. But I always thought, 'I've got a much better story'. I would be delighted to see it be made into a film now," British tabloid The Sun quoted him as saying. He added: "Had Rosa and I been caught I would have been tortured and probably shot. With her they would have gone right through her family and machine-gunned the lot of them. That was the risk she was taking so we could be together. She was very special to me."
Ghost writer Ken Scott, who helped Horace ink 'Do the Birds Still Sing in Hell?', said: "People in the States are getting very excited about it. There is big interest. It's being pitched to the big film studios." Ken revealed that he contacted US giant Creative Arts Agency to see whether there was any interest in the project or not.
"Usually books end up in the rubbish because they get so many. For someone to read it was a big foot in the door. And they even passed it on to the next level. An under-producer said it was one of the best things she's read. It may go to Stephen Spielberg or Ron Howard. They are two directors Creative Artists deal with," Ken added.