Days before this weekend’s 76th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid in WW2, when 5,000 Canadians, 1,000 British troops, and 50 United States Army Rangers stormed ashore in Northern France an option has been signed to make a film of one of the most amazing aspects of the raid, when a man went into action knowing he would be killed by his own side if he appeared likely to be captured. The motion picture rights to James Leasor’s Green Beach have been purchased by Jason Delaney, the well-regarded Vancouver-based screenwriter with several produced films to his credit.
Green Beach tells the story of one man’s amazing heroism, on a day of many heroes. RAF radar expert Jack Nissenthall, son of Jewish refugees from Germany, volunteered for a suicidal mission to penetrate a German radar station perched above “Green Beach”. Knowing the secrets of Allied radar technology, he could not fall into Nazi hands. Bodyguards from the South Saskatchewan Regiment had orders to protect him, or kill him in the event of possible capture. What happened to him and his twelve bodyguards in nine hours under fire is one of WW2’s most terrifying true stories of personal heroism. Only he and a single guard made it back to Britain.
When Green Beach was first published in 1975 the media described it as “blowing the lid off one of the Second World War’s best-kept secrets”. It was one of the bestselling books that year.
Stuart Leasor, publisher of James Leasor’s works, said, “Jason saw the potential in the book immediately, and over the course of a few months we’ve hammered out a deal. James Leasor was one of the bestselling British authors of the 20th Century. Books made into major films including: The Sea Wolves, The One that Got Away and Where the Spies Are. We are delighted at the considerable renewed interest in his works and expect to announce further film options shortly.”
Jason Delaney added, “All of James Leasor’s books have a rich visual quality in their descriptive prose — I’m really excited to be able to adapt Green Beach. I have already encountered substantial external interest in the project.”