Deciding to Dramatise Bravo Two Zero

Last Update: 03 August 1998

"After I first read Andy McNab's book, I immediately wanted to make the film," says producer Anant Singh. "Bravo Two Zero tells the story of the desperate struggle for survival. McNab was one of the five men who survived the operation, but three of his SAS comrades were killed. I believe this is a story that needs to be told."

It has always been important to Andy McNab that should his story be dramatised, he would have some influence on its interpretation and be able to make sure that the story was told in the correct way. "I have a responsibility to the people who are still alive and certainly to the families of the people who are dead," he says.

"These are professional soldiers who take pride in what they do," McNab continues. The whole mission was a failure and through the movie I want to show people that this is nothing new. You will never go on a mission with all the information. If you did, you wouldn't need special forces, because their job is to get information. What Bravo Two Zero shows is not that it was a failure, but certainly the bravery and determination of the people who were there. I'm trying to make people aware that this is not some magic, technical war."

For director Tom Clegg, well-known as an 'action director', the fact that Bravo Two Zero is the biggest selling war story of all times was a good platform from which to work. "It is a very good dramatic piece, and when taking into consideration that it is based on reality, its strength is heightened," he says. "It has a good plot and great characters within it. It constantly changes mood."

The book of Bravo Two Zero has been published in seventeen languages and McNab feels that the film adaptation will have tremendous global appeal. "It is not a war film in the traditional sense," says McNab. "We are showing all the action and what went on, but the motivation behind it and the people are totally different from anything the audience has ever seen before. The American Vietnam films show a stereotypical soldier, but what we haven't yet seen is a realistic view of the soldier today. In my mind it has been successful as a project if someone from the Regiment or a private in the Infantry Batallion looks at it and says 'yeah, that's alright', because it's not part of the culture."

"This is a Gulf War story, a story of friendship and people dying, the reaction of others to these deaths and people giving themselves up to save others. It is a story that shows what really goes on."

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