EXCLUSIVE: Passage Pictures has acquired film rights to Niv Kaplan’s upcoming book Frogmen on Deck, which details the deadly showdown aboard a Turkish-owned ship at the center of 2010’s Gaza flotilla raid. Barak Barkan and Kaplan have signed on to co-adapt the script.
Kaplan’s novel follows the Israeli Defense Force’s elite Navy unit the Shayetet 13, which carried out a raid on six civilian ships — half carrying humanitarian aid — attempting to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip in May 2010. The commandos who were attempting to divert the ships, dubbed the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla,” to port faced resistance upon boarding the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara. Nine pro-Palestinian Turkish nationals were killed in the resulting skirmish, and more on both sides were injured. The incident sparked scrutiny in Israel and further deteriorated Israeli-Turkish relations.
Kaplan had unprecedented access to the Shayetet 13 for the book, as well as to the activists and crew on board, to reveal information never before released.
“We are so excited to bring this important story to a wide audience and to shed light on aspects of this powerful story that have never before been told,” said Passage Pictures CEO Uri Singer, whose company is also adapting Kaplan’s novel Tracks. “Telling this story from both perspectives is particularly meaningful to me.”
Passage is coming off producing with Millennium Michael Almereyda’s Tesla, starring Ethan Hawke. Other book-to-film adaptations in the works at the company include Don Delillo’s White Noise.