"The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare" will tell the story of Britain's World War II Special Operations Executive, a top-secret unit personally overseen by Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Director Guy Ritchie, best known for his "Sherlock Holmes" movies and British gangster flicks like "Snatch"), started filming this week in Turkey.
The production is facing a few challenges as the country deals with the fallout from a series of earthquakes. Ritchie and his producers issued a statement as filming began that said, "As we begin production in Turkey, we do so with profound sympathy for everyone affected. Our thoughts are with the members of our crew with family in the region. We wish to express our sincere condolences to the people of Turkey. We stand by them and are committed to supporting members of our production team and the wider community over the coming weeks and months."
The film features an all-star cast that includes Henry Cavill ("Man of Steel"), Alan Ritchson ("Reacher"), Henry Golding ("Crazy Rich Asians") and Cary Elwes ("The Princess Bride"). Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is fresh off an Oscar nomination for "Top Gun: Maverick," and Ritchie has just finished "Guy Ritchie's The Covenant," a movie with Jake Gyllenhaal about an Army sergeant determined to get his translator out of Afghanistan.
Churchill's Special Operations Executive was nicknamed "The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare," because the prime minister pushed the unit to abandon the traditional military rules of engagement and embrace the realities of 20th-century warfare. The spec ops unit was tasked with finding ways to harass and stymie the Germans by any means necessary.
The SOE invented many of the tools and techniques that came to define post-war espionage. The group embraced trial and error, and more than a few of its outrageous ideas seem comical in retrospect. Of course, there were also plenty of innovations that greatly helped the war effort.
Ritchie's movies prove that the director can handle both comedy and action, so he seems like a perfect choice to bring this story to screen. We'll look for "The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare" in theaters sometime next year.
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