Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: After winning the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for The King’s Speech, David Seidler has committed to another WWII-era inspirational story. He will team with Italian writer Luca Manzi to script Games of 1940 for producers Kennedy/Marshall Company and RT Features.

The drama is based on the true tale of a group of multinational POWs in a Nazi prison camp who decide to compete against each other in their own version of the Olympics after the 1940 games were canceled due to the escalating war. They risked their lives to stage the games under the noses of the guards. Seidler and Manzi have collaborated in the past, and they came across the event while touring a Polish sports museum.

Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy will produce for Kennedy/Marshall Company along with RT Features’ Rodrigo Teixeira and Fernando Loureiro. Brazil-based RT Features is funding development. The company, which produced the Jose Henrique Fonseca-directed Heleno and the Karim Ainouz-directed Violet, is stepping up its output in Hollywood. Other Brazilian films include Drained, The Marriage of Romeo and Juliet, and Stillborn. Jeff Aghassi will be executive producer.

UTA and manager Aghassi rep Seidler, and the agency reps RT Films.

It is nice to see Seidler getting to capitalize on his Academy Award. After all, he was 73 when he began getting acclaim for his The King’s Speech script, which he planned to write after finishing the 1988 film Tucker for Francis Coppola. He waited 28 years at the request of the Queen Mother, the wife of King George VI, who said it would be too painful to watch such a film while she were still alive. Seidler granted her wish, not knowing she’d hang on nearly that long.

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