By Rory Reynolds
THE infamous attempt by Nazi deputy Rudolf Hess to meet with Scottish aristocrats over the future of the Second World War is to be the inspiration for a new Hollywood blockbuster.
Hess, Hitler’s right hand man, parachuted out of his Messerschmitt fighter over Lanarkshire in 1941, with the intention of meeting the Duke of Hamilton.
The Egyptian-born Nazi is rumoured to have aimed to persuade the Royal Family to side with Germany – unknown to the Fuhrer.
However, Hess broke his ankle when he landed in a field near to the village of Eaglesham and was promptly seized by a pitchfork-wielding farm hard.
But now Dog Soldiers director Neil Marshall has vowed to bring the tale to life, with an added fictional twist.
The UK filmmaker, whose Roman epic Centurion, featuring The Wire star Dominic West and Inglourious Basterds star Michael Fassbender, is released next month, says his production will be an alternative version of events.
The 39-year-old said: “It’s about a hypothetical rescue attempt on Rudolph Hess after he parachuted into Scotland in World War II.
“The ‘Die Hard’ scenario comes in when the rescue attempt goes wrong and the German unit takes Hess to a country castle in the Borders of Scotland.
“The gamekeeper has to do the John McClane thing and keep them there until help arrives – he has to stop them escaping and picks them off one by one.
“It’s kind of like my Indiana Jones movie, that sort of description.
“It’s just based on sort of fake history, but, it’s a whole mix of things, it’s still going to be very action—it’s an action movie.”
The mystery surrounding Hess’ trip was further complicated seven years ago when the documentary The Queen’s Lost Uncle suggested that he flew to Scotland to meet with Prince George, Duke of Kent.
His flight left from Augsburg in Bavaria on the eve of war with Russia, with some suggesting that Hess and the duke aimed to convince the Royal Family to ally Britain and Germany against the communist empire.
The Newcastle-born director added that the rumours surrounding the incident had encouraged him to put his own spin on the turn of events.
He said: “I’ve really embellished it and it’s going to be full of lots of gratuitous deaths, I’ll warn you.”
Marshall has had The Eagle’s Nest in the pipeline for five years, but said he is keen to return to Scotland to make it a reality.
Several of his previous productions have been shot in Scotland, with post-apocalyptic horror flick Doomsday being set in Glasgow while Centurion was recently filmed in the dramatic scenery of the Cairngorms.
He added: “Scotland is an untapped wilderness and hugely cinematic.
“I want to put it up there on screen.”