Gold Circle has acquired the rights to turn “The Castaway’s War: One Man’s Battle Against Imperial Japan,” written by Stephen Harding into a movie. The screenplay is yet to be written, but the producer for this action war movie will be Paul Brooks.
The book is a true life story of one man’s war against the Japanese on a small island in the Pacific. U.S. Naval Lieutenant Hugh Barr Miller was serving as the anti-aircraft director on the USS Strong, patrolling in the Kula Gulf, when early on the morning of the 5th July 1943, the ship was struck by a Japanese torpedo which caused catastrophic damage to the vessel. Amid raging fires, dozens of men died and the other ships in the flotilla managed to rescue scores of survivors from the ocean. As the ship slowly sank beneath the waves, her depth charges started to detonate underwater causing enormous pressure waves that killed some of the servicemen in the water and caused acute internal injuries to many, many more.
Having survived the initial disaster, Barr made it to land, beaching on the island of Arundel, with several other servicemen. His injuries were severe and fearing that he would die, he told his shipmates to continue without him, which they did. However, he did not die but slowly recovered some of his strength and thus began his 39-day, hide-and-seek with the Japanese garrison based on the island. Setting out alone and dealing with his painful internal injuries while trying to evade capture by Japanese patrols, living off coconuts and water from springs, Hugh managed to keep one step ahead of the enemy. It was inevitable that he and the Japanese would clash and taking grenades from dead Japanese soldiers he managed to successfully destroy several Japanese gun encampments and steal bags full of documents.
Eventually, Barr was spotted by an American plane and was rescued. Naturally, once he had recovered he was sent back to the US where he received a hero’s welcome and was decorated by Eleanor Roosevelt. He never recovered from his ordeal and lived quietly with his family until he passed away in 1978.
This is an epic true story of one man’s determination to survive against impossible odds.