The sinking of HMS Coventry in the Falklands War is to be made into a full-length cinema film to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the tragedy, reports the Portsmouth and Coventry press.
Nineteen men lost their lives when the Portsmouth-based destroyer was attacked by Argentine aircraft on May 25, 1982.
Director Tom Shankland has started work to make a film called “Destroyer” about the warship. The movie will be based on the memoirs of Coventry’s captain in the Falklands, Captain David Hart Dyke, who published his book ‘Four Weeks in May’ in May in 2007.
Captain Hart Dyke, of Hambledon, said: ‘It’s at an early stage of development. It’s hoped they can start filming next year but it is early days.
‘It’s based on the book, which is a personal story that has caught people’s imaginations and has been very widely read and commented on. I still get letters today about it from people, so that must be the reason it’s been picked up by a film-maker.’
Captain Hart Dyke, a former Commander of the Royal Yacht Britannia, added: ‘I would be delighted if it comes off but I’m strictly neutral about the whole thing. It’s just one account from one ship.
“There were 40 ships altogether in the Falklands all doing wonderful things but it seems my story is the one that has been picked up”.
The movie is being made by Warp. Films, is the firm behind Chris Morris’ Bafta award-winning Four Lions which was released in 2009.
The film will be written and directed by Tom Shankland, who made horror film ‘The Children’ in 2009.
Warp Films said it will consult veterans from HMS Coventry to make sure the film is accurate.
Robin Gutch, who is producing ‘Destroyer’, said: ‘The project is developing, with the intention of shooting next year. We chose to base it on the book by David Hart Dyke as it is a very strong but concise story about the mission of one ship at the Falklands.
“We want to retell the story from the eyes of one captain at the Falklands”.
In related news it was reported that a cross of nails recovered from the wreck of HMS Coventry is to take pride of place in the Royal Navy’s newest warship. The poignant symbol will hang outside the captain’s cabin on HMS Diamond, a £1bn destroyer affiliated to the city of Coventry.
It was presented by Capt David Hart-Dyke, Coventry’s commanding officer during the Falklands War, at Diamond’s ‘Christening’ ceremony in Portsmouth.
He said: “It’s a big moment for Diamond. If they ever find themselves in a difficult fighting situation in the future they will always be aware of their predecessors and the story of HMS Coventry.
“It’s a strong link to have. It’s about tradition and keeping up the standards we are very proud of in the navy.”
The cross was made from the remains of Coventry Cathedral and sank with HMS Coventry off the Falkland Islands in May, 1982, with the loss of 19 men.
It was retrieved by divers and sailed with the replacement HMS Coventry from 1986 to 2003, when it was taken back by the cathedral.
Diamond is the third of six new Type 45 destroyers, billed as the most advanced warships in the world.