EXCLUSIVE: Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson is teaming up with filmmaker Sacha Gervasi (Anvil: The Story of Anvil!) to co-write a narrative screenplay about the now-cult rock concert Dickinson played during the height of the Siege of Sarajevo in 1994.
Risking their lives, Dickinson and his band Skunkworks were smuggled into the besieged city by the UN to play a concert for its beleaguered citizens amidst the chaos of war. The journey was captured in a 2016 documentary Scream for Me Sarajevo.
The Siege Of Sarajevo was the longest siege in modern history lasting 1,425 days and resulting in more than 11,000 killed, including 1,600 children. The city was decimated, infrastructure destroyed, and there was wide spread damage to many cultural institutions, government buildings, hospitals, and schools.
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In 2019, the Sarajevo City Council granted Dickinson the title of “Honorary citizen of Sarajevo,” in remembrance of his visit and the band’s performance at the peak of the Bosnian war. At the presentation Mayor Abdulah Skaka said, “The arrival of Mr. Dickinson in Sarajevo in 1994 was one of those moments that made us in Sarajevo realize that we will survive, that the city of Sarajevo will survive, that Bosnia-Herzegovina will survive.”
Portobello Electric, Gervasi’s production company with partners Jessica de Rothschild, Jim Garavente and Hassan Taher, will produce.
Said Dickinson: “The few incredible days I spent in Sarajevo with my solo band pre-Christmas in 1994 were some of the most intense of my life. Crafting a story to bring the emotions, madness, tragedy and triumph to the screen is no easy task. My own journey was as a long haired heavy metal singer driving through firefights into a city that had been under siege longer than Stalingrad. Mine was not, of course, the only journey taken on that day, and afterwards, at home in London, I left behind in Sarajevo travelling companions on the road of life. This movie is actually dedicated to their story, not mine.”
Gervasi commented: ”I first met Bruce Dickinson as a 15 year old Maiden fan in London in 1982. Now, nearly 40 years later to be co-writing this extraordinarily intense and personal story with Bruce himself is a genuine and unexpected honor. The real story of the kids and local musicians who attended that show is as poignant as it is inspiring. Many of them didn’t make it. As Bruce has already said, we hope this film will be a tribute to them.”
Today we can reveal an exclusive clip of Dickinson and Gervasi discussing the project on Alex Ferrari’s podcast Next Level Soul, which will air on Saturday. This clip is available for U.S. readers.
Heavy Metal band Iron Maiden has sold more than 90 million albums worldwide. Dickinson previously co-scripted, starred in and scored 2008 movie Chemical Wedding starring Simon Callow.
Gervasi is best known for Emmy-winning rockumentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil, Helen Mirren starrer Hitchcock and My Dinner with Hervé starring Peter Dinklage. The filmmaker actually started out as a drummer in a group with Gavin Rossdale before the latter formed Bush. As we revealed last week, he is currently prepping the Boy George biopic Karma Chameleon, which he wrote and will direct this summer in London.
Portobello Electric and Gervasi are represented by CAA.
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