Los Angeles, April 4: An American hero' Count on Hollywood to enlist.
Army supply clerk and Iraqi prisoner of war Jessica Lynch was barely in the air on her way to Ramstein Air Base after her rescue when Tinseltown producers started buzzing about her storyís possibilities for a television movie.
Some had even called her family in Palestine, West Virginia.
ďI know people who have made the phone calls,Ē Michael Jaffe, one of a group of Hollywood producers known for ripped-from-the-headlines entertainment, said yesterday, declining to name his colleagues. ďNot me. I think itís way premature.Ē
Lynchís family, he said, needs at least a few days to adjust. But in Hollywood a few days feels like a lifetime when a juicy, heroic story is being broadcast all over the cable news stations, the rights fairly begging to be bought.
Every new detail that emerged about Lynchís story seemed designed to tantalise Hollywood all the more. In the past couple of days the world heard that the 19-year-old private was shot multiple times and stabbed, that she watched her colleagues dying around her and still continued shooting at the enemy until her ammo ran out. That was before Special Operations commandos swooped in under cover of night to rescue her.
Itís the kind of thing that, well, movies are made of. (Although yesterday Lynchís family said that doctors told them that in fact she had been neither shot nor stabbed, that didnít seem to dampen enthusiasm much.)
Said Jaffe: ďI didnít say Iím not interested in the rights. Iím just not chasing them. Itís very hard to look at that heartwarming story and not say: ĎThere might be a wonderful and rewarding movie in ití.Ē
Network executives said they hadnít yet heard from the usual pitchmen who specialise in turning real life into movies but that the proposals were almost certainly on the way.
Said one CBS spokeswoman: ďWhen thereís an event that generates that much media attention, itís natural to start getting pitches.Ē Other producers said it was too early to think about turning war stories like Lynchís into entertainment.