UK companies Fred Films and Powder Keg Pictures have secured the sought-after rights to British national treasure and World War II hero Captain Tom Moore’s inspirational story.
The former British Army Captain raised £39M ($50M) for the National Health Service by walking laps of his garden in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the pandemic. It was a feat that captured hearts and minds around the UK and beyond.
Moore also broke two Guinness World Records, achieved a number 1 hit single with You’ll Never Walk Alone, and was knighted by the Queen in a private ceremony at Windsor Castle.
Fred Films’ James Spring and Powder Keg Pictures’ Nick Moorcroft and Meg Leonard will produce. Moorcroft and Leonard are writing the original screenplay and the team is looking to shoot the project in 2021.
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The untitled film will focus on Moore’s close relationship with his family and explore how his strength, wisdom and humour changed the way they viewed the world after he moved into their home following the tragic death of his wife after a near 40-year marriage. After a long battle with skin cancer, Moore suffered a broken hip and was told he would never walk again, but at the age of 99 he ordered a treadmill and began his own rehabilitation which progressed to walking laps of their garden.
When the global pandemic took hold, he and his family had an idea for how to raise money for the under pressure National Health Service that Captain Tom credited with saving his life. As his inspirational efforts captured the public imagination, donations flooded in thrusting an ordinary British family into an extraordinary global media frenzy whilst dealing with the restrictions of lockdown and shielding a defiant centenarian from the virus. The film will also draw on Captain Tom’s military career and dramatize how personal grief and the horrors of war shaped his life and inspired him to keep walking.
Fred Films and Powder Keg previously collaborated on UK box office breakouts Fisherman’s Friends and Finding Your Feet. Their next collaboration, Blithe Spirit, starring Dan Stevens, Leslie Mann, Isla Fisher and Judi Dench, is due to be released theatrically by Studiocanal UK on December 26, 2020.
Captain Sir Tom Moore said: “I don’t know of any 100 year old actors but I’m sure Michael Caine or Anthony Hopkins could do a wonderful job if they were prepared to age up!”
His daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, added: “We received so many offers but what it boiled down to was trust. The family are big fans of the films James, Meg and Nick have written and produced and we hope that our story connects with audiences in the same way their previous films have done.”
Writer-producers Moorcroft and Leonard said in a joint statement: “This is a story about the power of the human spirit and Captain Sir Tom personifies that. We are honoured to be telling this unique and inspiring story and are excited about audiences getting to know the man behind the headlines”.