"Operation Mincemeat" was a British World War II counterintelligence operation that used a dead body to mislead Germany about Allied plans to invade Sicily in 1943. Ben Macintyre's excellent book "Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory" will now be the basis for a new movie.
Colin Firth, Best Actor winner for "The King's Speech" and star of the Kingsman movies, will play intelligence officer Ewen Montagu. The movie will be helmed by "Shakespeare in Love" director John Madden.
Madden told Variety, "In the context of World War II narratives, the story of Operation Mincemeat is unique -- a bizarre and seductive cinematic blend of high-level espionage and ingenious fiction, where the stakes could hardly be higher. Michelle Ashford's script fuses multiple strands and moods: tense, romantic, thrilling, unexpectedly funny, and endlessly surprising. It tells a richly human story of the soldiers we seldom see, who fight a different kind of war in shadows and deception, haunted by the knowledge that certainty and guarantee of success are nowhere to be found."
In the real-life version, British intelligence dressed a hobo's corpse as an officer of the Royal Marines and gave him ID as the fictitious Captain (Acting Major) William Martin. They left "Top Secret" papers on his body that showed an Allied plan to invade Greece and Sardinia with notes that stated any indications of a Sicilian invasion were merely a feint to fool the Axis.
The Germans bit on the bait, and the operation helped ensure the success of the invasion of Sicily. The movie version is set to go into production later this year.