World War II is such a big trend in Hollywood these days, it’s spawned its own mini-revival: submarine films. With no fewer than three WWII underwater projects in the pipeline, sub flicks might just be the wave of the future. First out of port will likely be Universal’s U-571, a realistic look at the Atlantic naval conflict in 1942, which Jonathan Mostow (Breakdown) plans to begin directing in November. Then comes Dimension’s Proteus, a supernatural thriller aboard an American sub during the war, directed by indie sensation Darren Aronofsky ([Pi]). And there’s DreamWorks’ Thunder Below, based on a true-life story of a U.S. sub that was credited with sinking 85 Japanese vessels, to be produced by ER exec producer John Wells.
Why are wartime subs making such a deep impact? According to Mostow, the attraction is ”the claustrophobic and constant sense of jeopardy that those men experienced” underwater. Appropriately enough, Mostow, who plans to build a 400-ton U-boat in Malta for his film, is working with Gotz Weidner, the production designer from the great WWII sub flick, Das Boot (1981). ”We’re taking every step necessary to try to re-create the WWII submarine experience, which is a wholly different one from the infantryman’s experiences as portrayed in Ryan,” says Mostow. ”I appreciated the truthfulness of Ryan. That’s what I hope to achieve.” — DK, with reporting by JIB