Robert Towne to Write ‘Battle of Britain’ for GK Films

Veteran screenwriter to chronicle the World War II aerial combat saga for producers Graham King and Tim Headington

Childhood memories from his father’s tales of watching a pivotal World War II aerial battle over London have inspired a drama produced by Graham King, to be written by legendary screenwriter Robert Towne.

GK Films, in which King is partnered with Tim Headington, will make "The Battle of Britain."

Based on an idea by King and inspired by tales of World War II dogfights over London told to him by his father, the project aims to tell how the overmatched Royal Air Force beat back the  vaunted German Luftwaffe for mastery of the skies over the capitol.

“My father lived in London,” said King in a statement, “and watched this spectacular dog fight over the city, so bringing this story of endurance and triumph to the big screen means a great deal to me.  

In the famous airborne battle, the defeat of the Luftwaffe established not only strategic control of the skies but also uplifted the entire nation’s morale.

GK Films inaugurated Paramount’s new animation push with the hit "Rango" earlier this year, and has three more films slated to appear by year’s end. Frequent King collaborator Johnny Depp stars in "The Rum Diary," opening Oct. 28; Martin Scorsese is directing "Hugo," which releases Nov. 23; and Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut, "In the Land of Blood and Honey," opens Dec. 23.

Towne is best known for the classic "Chinatown" and in more recent years his collaborations with Tom Cruise have included "Days of Thunder" and "Mission: Impossible." At the moment he’s writing “Compadre”, an original television pilot, for Scott Free and FX.