28 Entertainment announced today their acquisition of the film rights to the New York Times best-selling autobiography Code Name: Johnny Walker, the true life account of a Navy SEALs translator in Iraq called upon to aid special forces troops during the insurgency. Written by the real life hero under the pseudonym "Johnny Walker," the book was co-written by Jim DeFelice (co-author of the New York Times best-seller American Sniper) and was published last week by William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins. The project will be produced by 28 Entertainment's Jay Hoffman, Brian A. Hoffman, and Brett Harrison with additional announcements to come shortly. The book recently debuted on the New York Times best-seller list as one of the top sellers on both the nonfiction Hardcover and Ebook lists.
Offering a unique perspective on the Iraq War, the memoir tells the story of one Iraqi who risked everything to fight with U.S. troops, in particular the Navy SEALs, becoming perhaps the only "terp" (interpreter) to be welcomed into their tight-knit fold. For the first time ever, "Walker" tells what it was like in Iraq during the American invasion and the brutal insurgency that followed. With inside details on SEAL operations and a humane understanding of the tragic price paid by ordinary Iraqis, Code Name: Johnny Walker reveals a side of the war that has never been told before.
Development on the property is underway, as the rights were initially purchased in a pre-publication deal with the author.
Here's what producers Jay Hoffman and Brian A. Hoffman had to say in a joint statement.
"This is a new and refreshing look at the situation in Iraq, from the Iraqi perspective. When we heard of 'Johnny's' story from SEALs who had worked with him on the battlefield, we were immediately inspired and knew we wanted to bring his story to the screen."
DeFelice, in addition to American Sniper, most recently authored Omar Bradley: General at War, the first in-depth critical biography of America's last five-star general.