Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc (CVE:TBRD) (OTCQX:THBRF) said Tuesday that its Great Pacific Media division is developing a premium scripted drama series based on the father of the American Space Program and former Nazi scientist Wernher von Braun.
Entitled "Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War," the series works off Canadian author Michael Neufeld’s definitive biography about von Braun -- a man who became an American hero yet was also one of the most controversial figures ever to join NASA.
Like von Braun, the US shared a vision for space travel, which led to the decision to bring the controversial German V-2 Rocket builder to work at NASA after World War II. The result was a complex, often uncomfortable alliance that resulted in Neil Armstrong successfully landing on the moon in 1969.
Thunderbird said the creative leader is Simon Barry (Warrior Nun, Continuum, Bad Blood), who is also attached as an executive producer, writer and director through his production company Reality Distortion Field (RDF).
President Mark Miller will also executive produce on behalf of Great Pacific Media. Thunderbird and Miller acquired the book’s intellectual property (IP) from the Smithsonian Institution in 2019.
“Without von Braun and his team of engineers, America would have lost the space race to the Russians,” Miller said. “This fascinating story is about whitewashing the history of men who played a major role in engineering the Nazi regime. At the centre, von Braun and an American government were desperate to win the space race at all costs.”
The company said it selected the story of von Braun to launch its new initiative to develop dramatic scripted content based on real events through Great Pacific Media.
It noted that the Space Race is a globally uplifting story, while the work of Nazi engineers is a murderous stain on history. This series will explore von Braun’s childhood dreams of interplanetary travel and dramatize the choices he made to fund his rockets, his vision for World War II Germany, and later, the United States. After being Hitler’s greatest hope to destroy London, von Braun became an American space pioneer who would win America’s National Medal of Science, while avoiding the war crime courts of Nuremberg.
“The story of von Braun is set to be a breakthrough television event with global reach,” Miller added. “He was a man caught between morality and progress – glorified as a visionary and vilified as a war criminal.”
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