EXCLUSIVE: Mad Riot Entertainment, the production company of 300 producer Mark Canton and Lawrence Smith, has acquired rights to Operation Cowboy, the based-on-a-true-story book from Stephan Talty, whose book with Richard Phillips became the basis of the Columbia Pictures hit Captain Phillips starring Tom Hanks.

Paul Russell Smith has penned the adaptation of Talty’s Operation Cowboy, which takes place during the final days of World War II. With the Russian Army marching across Czechoslovakia, a band of American soldiers did something unheard of: With Gen. Patton’s blessing, they went behind enemy lines and teamed with a group of Nazi officers to rescue 500 rare Lippizaner horses captured by Adolf Hitler to create his master equine race.

“The unique plot of this adrenaline-fueled drama makes for an exciting motion picture experience set against the final days of World War II. I’m extremely pleased that Mad Riot acquired the book and developed the screenplay with such talented collaborators,” said Canton.

Added Smith: “Operation Cowboy is a brilliant story about achieving something beautiful during our world’s most horrendous hours. It’s always captivating when mortal enemies join forces to accomplish something bigger than themselves. I am confident this will be an astounding film delivered on an epic scale.”

Canton and Smith are producing via Mad Riot with Dorothy Canton and David Hopwood. Adam Mazer is executive producing. The deal was negotiated by Cody Brown at Shukat Arrow Hafer Weber & Herbsman Llp and Lucy Stille of APA.