Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson to write Sarajevo Siege concert movie – Deadline
EXCLUSIVE: Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson teams up with filmmaker Sacha Gervasi (Anvil: The story of Anvil!) to co-write a narrative script about the cult rock concert Dickinson performed 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 perform a concert for its besieged citizens amid the chaos of war. The trip 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 killing more than 11,000, including 1,600 children. The city was decimated, infrastructure destroyed and extensive damage was done 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 group’s performance at the height of the Bosnian War. During the presentation, Mayor Abdulah Skaka said: “Mr. Dickinson’s arrival in Sarajevo in 1994 was one of those moments that made us realize in Sarajevo that we will survive, that the city of Sarajevo will survive, that Bosnia and Herzegovina will survive. “
Portobello Electric, Gervasi’s production company with partners Jessica de Rothschild, Jim Garavente and Hassan Taher, will produce.
Says Dickinson: “The amazing few days I spent in Sarajevo with my solo band before Christmas in 1994 were some of the most intense of my life. Creating a story to bring emotions, madness, tragedy and triumph to the screen is no easy task. My own journey was as a long haired heavy metal singer, going through fiery combat in a city under siege longer than Stalingrad. Mine was of course not the only trip made that day, and then, at home in London, I left fellow travelers in Sarajevo on the path of life. This film is actually dedicated to their story, not mine. “
Gervasi commented: “I first met Bruce Dickinson as a Maiden fan at age 15 in London in 1982. Now, almost 40 years later, co-write this extraordinarily intense and personal story with Bruce himself. – even is a genuine and unexpected honor. The true story of the children and local musicians who witnessed this performance is as poignant as it is inspiring. Many of them did not succeed. As Bruce has said before, we hope this film is a tribute to them.
Today we can reveal an exclusive clip of Dickinson and Gervasi discussing the project on Alex Ferrari’s Next Level Soul podcast, which airs Saturday. This clip is available for US readers.
Heavy metal band Iron Maiden has sold over 90 million albums worldwide. Dickinson has previously co-scripted, starred and scored a 2008 film Chemical marriage with Simon Callow.
Gervasi is best known for his Emmy Award-winning rockumentary Anvil! The story of Anvil, Starring Helen Mirren Hitchcock and My dinner with Hervé with Peter Dinklage. The filmmaker actually started out as a drummer in a band with Gavin Rossdale before the latter formed Bush. As we revealed last week, he is currently preparing the Boy George biopic. Karma Chameleon, which he wrote and will direct this summer in London.
Portobello Electric and Gervasi are represented by CAA.