Major Hollywood cinema figures have discovered the story of Desmond Doss, the Seventh-day Adventist drafted into the United States Army in 1942 who was the first conscientious objector to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. Cable News Network (CNN) reported Friday on “The Wrap” that Oscar nominee Randall Wallace is under contract to direct the movie for Walden Media, a major movie production company.
A script has been written by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan reported the movie trade journal Empire yesterday in a copyrighted story written by James White. The story identifies Doss as an Adventist and states that “he was assigned as a medic because refused to carry a weapon into combat.” The movie will focus on “his heroic actions treating his fellow servicemen on the field,” writes White.
Wallace directed the movie “We Were Soldiers,” featuring a story from the Vietnam era, as well as “The Man in the Iron Mask” and “Secretariat.” He wrote the script for “Braveheart” and the recent Disney version of the science fiction classic “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” He replaces Aaron Schneider who was previously involved in the Doss movie.
"We are thrilled with Wallace coming into this inspiring project." Gabe Videla told Adventist Today. He was executive producer of a documentary about Doss and negotiated story rights that are key to the dramatic production. Wallace's "background and talent as both a writer and director will no doubt enhance this project."
Bill Mechanic is the top producer for the film, together with David Permut, Steve Longi and Terry Benedict, according to Videla and CNN. These are all well-known Hollywood movie executives. The chief executive officer for Walden is Michael Bostick.
The movie will have to describe key Adventist beliefs in order to make sense of the story, a historian told Adventist Today. It will very likely bring Adventist theology to the attention of millions of people.
The source suggested that the movie may create controversy among Adventist believers because the nearly pacifist attitudes that were widely accepted and taught in the Adventist Church during the World War II era have shifted significantly. “There are thousands of Adventists serving in the military today despite the fact that the conscientious objector status is not currently available in America’s volunteer armed forces.” The movie is tentatively titled “The C.O.”
Considering the normal time that it takes to produce a major Hollywood movie, it is possible that the actual release of this film will come next year around Memorial Day. Adventist Today will continue to follow this story.
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