"...It’s a proper Boy’s Own yarn," .... "These guys went out and risked death and torture for our country. They were real heroes." ..."It was tough and cold up there and being ill made it harder still," he says."But these men’s stories needed to be told."
|27.05.11, www.dailymail.co.uk, see below, by Chris Sullivan - rg/15. Oktober 2011|
Spielfilm - 90 min, UK/2011
Deutschland-Premiere auf DVD/BluRay am 18. Oktober 2011
Age of Heroes
Spielfilm - 90 min, UK/2011
Deutschland-Premiere auf DVD/BluRay
Vorlage für den Film ist Ian Flemings Spezial-Einheit "30 Commando" aus dem 2. Weltkrieg - die Vorbild für die SAS war. Die Geschichte führt unsere Helden vom Rand des Untergangs bei Dünkirchen bis in die Berge Norwegens, wo sie in einer gefährlichen Mission hinter den Kampflinien bestehen müssen. Wenn sie erfolgreich sind, könnte dies den Fortgang des Krieges verändern.
Official UK Trailer
Interviews mit Regisseur Adrian Vitoria, Sean Bean und Danny Dyer (in dieser Reihenfolge):
Meine Meinung zum Film:
Die Dreharbeiten müssen schwierig gewesen sein - kaum am Set in Norwegen angekommen, machte ein böser Magenvirus die Runde - aber die Darsteller und die Crew entschieden sich für's Weiterarbeiten, andernfalls bestand Gefahr den Film mit seinem engen Budget nicht fertigdrehen zu können. Dann gab es außerdem den Vulkanausbruch, der dafür sorgte, wie eine Zeitung schrieb, dass Sean Bean und Danny Dyer "... für Tage auf einem Berg in Norwegen festsaßen, nachdem alle Flüge über Europa abgesagt worden waren. (10 April) Die beiden Stars waren im Land um Szenen für Ihren Weltkrieg II Spielfilm Age of Heroes zu drehen, als eine Aschewolke von dem Vulkanausbruch auf Island den europäischen Flugverkehr lahmlegte."
Dann schwirrten da noch einige Gerüchte über einen kleinen Unfall herum, in den Sean Bean involviert gewesen sein sollte, und wenn man das fertige Produkt sieht, glaubt man das sofort - seine Nase sieht in diesem Film die meiste Zeit wirklich merkwürdig aus!
Ansonsten haben wir hier einen typischen WW2-Film - dankenswerterweise einen britischen, so bleiben uns wenigstens einige Standard-Situationen erspart, und die Nazis, hier eine SS-Einheit, SIND unausprechlich böse, abe wenigstens sprechen sie deutsch und verhalten sich nicht allzu blöde.
Ich finde den Film nicht schlecht, schließlich haben wir Sean Bean und Danny Dyer, die beide eine makellose Arbeit abliefern. Aber irgendwie fehlt die "Seele". Ich fand es schwierig, mich wirklich für das Schicksal der Charaktere zu interessieren, denn, einmal abgesehen von drei oder vier wirklich starken Szenen, die ich nicht so schnell vergessen werde, ist der Film für meinen Geschmack zu sehr nach einer Formel gestrickt: Da gibt es den eigenwilligen Sergeant (Danny Dyer) , der nicht nach den Regeln spielt, wir haben den rauhen, harten aber fähigen Major (Sean Bean), der auch die schwierigen Entscheidungen ohne Rücksicht auf Verluste treffen und ausführen wird, wir haben die abgrundtief bösen Nazis und die unschuldigen Opfer, hier in Form einer norwegischen Familie. Klar, damit kann man nicht wirklich komplett falsch liegen.
Die Einheit ist tatsächlich nach dem Vorbild der realen "30 Assault Unit" geformt, gegründet vom realen Ian Fleming (Autor der James Bond Bücher). Ich habe ein bischen etwas über die Geschichte der "30 Assault" Einheit nachgelesen (interessante Website: http://www.30au.co.uk) und die haben wirklich einige erstaunliche Taten vollbracht.
Die Story des Films ist so schnell erzählt, dass es gar nicht lohnt tiefer zu schürfen: Ein Spezialkommando landet hinter feindlichen Linien in Norwegen, um den Nazis die Konstruktionspläne für ein neues Radarsystem zu stehlen. Einer nach dem anderen fällt in Erfüllung seiener Pflicht, am Ende werden nur drei den Weg zurückfinden... dazu kommen noch einige gute Action-Szenen, und das war's.
Was fehlt mir also bei dem Ganzen? Die Story ist so gut oder schlecht wie viele andere aus dem gleichen Genre und es hätte für mich auch funktioniert, wenn die Macher sich ein bischen zurückgehalten hätten wenn's um's Militärische geht und sich dafür mehr auf die Entwicklung der Charaktere konzentiert hätten. Es gab einige vielversprechende Szenen, wie z. B. die Konfrontation zwischen der britischen Spezialeinheit und den SS-Leuten, die von einem ziemlich fiesen SS-Offizier angeführt werden. Leider haben die Macher das nicht weiter geführt, der Haupt-Gegner verschwindet zu schnell wieder ohne eine Chance gehabt zu haben, uns so richtig Angst einzujagen.
Gut, ich gebe zu, WW2-Filme sind nicht für mich gemacht - und ich nicht für sie. Ich habe den Film nur gesehen wegen Sean, und um fair zu sein, auch wegen Danny Dyer war er das Anschauen wert. Und wenigstens hat Danny Dyers Nase sich durchweg anständig verhalten und hat nie so aus der Form geraten ausgesehen wie die von Sean Bean!
Und das war das.
|Photos||All Bilder: offizielle PR-photos|
http://www.ageofheroesmovie.com - official Film Website
http://www.30au.co.uk interesting website with lots of infos and photos about the real "30 Assault" unit. - Wenn man auf "Flemings Exposé" klickt, kommt zu einem deutschen Beitrag des ZDF :-)
Sean the Sheepish: He's had four wives, plays gritty action heroes and used to be a welder. So why do sex scenes make Sean Bean blush?
By Chris Sullivan
Last updated at 9:49 AM on 27th May 2011
Sean Bean is barely recognisable. His slicked-back hair is cut short, and he wears a World War II British Army officer’s field uniform. I feel as if I’ve been whisked back in a time machine to 1943.
We are on the set of Bean’s latest action film, Age Of Heroes, a true story of 30 Assault Unit, a commando team formed by Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, and their mission to blow up a Nazi radar tower in occupied Norway.
Bean plays Jack ‘Davey’ Jones, the hard-nosed officer who takes his boys out on their near-suicidal mission.
‘It’s a proper Boy’s Own yarn,’ he says with uncharacteristic emotion. Like Jones, he is the strong and silent type.
‘These guys went out and risked death and torture for our country. They were real heroes.’
He makes the filming on location in Norway sound like a dangerous campaign. ‘It’s like a mini-battle with real action sequences’ he says. ‘This was the real thing.’
So real, that in the snowy wastes Bean came down with an unsoldierly cold virus which really knocked him out. ‘It was tough and cold up there and being ill made it harder still,’ he says. ‘But these men’s stories needed to be told.’
Bean has built much of his career playing such rock-hard military men. He was the sabre-wielding Sharpe in the Napoleonic wars TV series; the valiant Boromir in The Lord of The Rings, and in Troy, he was Odysseus to Brad Pitt’s Achilles.
He is also currently starring in the latest Sky Atlantic TV series from HBO, Game Of Thrones. Set in an almost medieval fantasy world, it allows the actor to strap on armour and get back on his horse. ‘It’s like Lord Of The Rings, but with sex,’ Bean says.
‘We all love these roles. When you’re a kid you’ve got your horse, your sword, your helmet and your armour. So obviously we’re still kids in a way. The fantasy of the show was there at the beginning and then goes quite dark. I’m not a massive fan of science fiction and fantasy, but when it’s got that edge it’s a different story.’
He wears his 52 years well — at 5ft 10in he has muscles that still ripple. He speaks slowly and softly, seems to find the floor fascinating and only makes eye contact when he looks up and flashes a big, bashful smile. He is the least luvvie actor I have ever met.
‘I like a good drink like the next man,’ Bean says, lighting another cigarette. ‘But on my own terms. I feel a bit queasy at the thought of attending premieres and stuff. I’m not that social type. But if you court publicity you can’t complain if you get pestered. And I don’t want to be pestered. To be famous and seen in clubs and bars — is that it?’
He spent eight years in Hollywood but the mention of it provokes a sigh. ‘I feel more comfortable here, it’s where I’m from and people are like-minded,’ he says. ‘It’s good working in America up to a point, but to overstay your welcome is not a good idea.
‘You can never enjoy a meal without hassle and everyone’s promising everything and a lot of it is bull. It’s overpowering and cloying. Whereas here everyone’s laid back, pragmatic and realistic.’
He grew up in a two-bedroom council house in Sheffield (‘Me mam and dad still live in it,’ he says proudly), and attended the local comprehensive but showed little academic ability. He was a trainee welder for his father who, having made ‘brass’ with his foundry business, drove young Sean to work in his Rolls Royce Silver Shadow.
‘Acting wasn’t an option in Sheffield,’ Bean explains. ‘It was steelworks, learning a trade. I did that for a few years and I enjoyed it, but I hankered to do something creative. I went to art college but dropped out as the whole atmosphere wasn’t really right for me.
‘I was wondering what I was going to do with my life and didn’t ever think it would be acting, but once I’d done a course and got inspired, I made that decision — I’m going to be an actor.’
In the early Eighties Bean studied at RADA, graduating with an Honours Diploma and three prizes.
He made his first TV forays in the likes of The Bill while honing his stage skills. Joining the Royal Shakespeare Company, he was a leather-clad biker Romeo in their 1983 production of Romeo and Juliet, played Robin Starveling in Midsummer Night’s Dream and Spencer in Fair Maid Of The West. Meanwhile, film director Derek Jarman gave him his biggest break as Ranuccio in his acclaimed movie, Caravaggio.
But his favourite film is The Field, directed by Jim Sheridan, where he played the simpleton son of the domineering landowner Bull McCabe, portrayed by the late Richard Harris.
Bean says he identified with the gritty Northern films of the Sixties, such as This Sporting Life, starring Harris. They inspired him to move into that type of drama.
So working with the Irish actor was for him a big deal. He says: ‘He was off the booze and it was quite funny, because John Hurt was in it too and also on the wagon, and they were both having cups of tea while I was on Guinness.’
Bean has also played an IRA bomber out to kill Harrison Ford (‘wonderful, mad sense of humour,’) in Patriot Games. He was Bond’s nemesis 006 in Goldeneye (‘a right laugh’); and Mellors opposite Joely Richardson in Lady
Chatterley. But he’s coy about this last experience, claiming: ‘I’m not keen on sex scenes.’
Three years ago Bean reprised the role of Sharpe for a TV movie. ‘The first one was filmed in 1992 in the Crimea and the food was like dog meat,’ he winces. ‘The last one was shot in India so, as well as Imodium, I took a box of 70 steak pies with me and Henderson’s Relish.’
This is typical — Bean would rather talk about the catering than roles he’s played. He barely recalls acting opposite Jodie Foster in Flightplan and when I ask about the film North Country, with the beautiful Charlize Theron, he says mildly: ‘It was good to play a decent bloke and she seemed nice enough.’
But the seemingly bashful actor has form as a ladies man. He’s been married four times. He lives in a lavish house in Belsize Park, North London, with his three daughters Lorna, 24, and Molly, 20, from his second marriage to actress Melanie Hill; and Evie, 13, from his third marriage to former Sharpe co-star Abigail Cruttenden,
And In Age Of Heroes, Bean acts opposite his fourth spouse Georgina Sutcliffe, whom he met when she was working behind the bar in one of his favourite haunts, Gerry’s Club in London’s Soho.
The couple have divorced, saying they found living together intolerable. It was a stormy marriage. He looks lost when I ask what it was like working with his wife. ‘We act. It was good. We were both kind of bemused and pleasantly surprised by that.
‘A lot of my single friends have had more relationships with girlfriends than me,’ he chuckles. ‘I’m a bit old fashioned because I marry mine. But sometimes relationships work and sometimes they don’t.’
Bean may have made a mess of his marriages, but his daughters are clearly what matters most and his eyes light up when he speaks of them.
‘My girls are everything to me,’ he says proudly. ‘But I wouldn’t encourage them or put them off acting. Molly seems quite interested, but it’s up to them.
‘But if you do it you’ve really got to want to be successful. A lot of people think it’s easy but it’s not.
‘I might have been a singer or an artist,’ he says, almost wistful, ‘but I didn’t hold that same belief as I did with acting and I think it’s a matter of finding it.
‘It takes a while to find out what you really want out of life.’
Age of Heroes is in cinemas now and is released on DVD and Blu-Ray on June 13. Game of Thrones is on Sky Atlantic at 9pm on Mondays.
Pirates and heroes... or how Bond's inspiration is being brought to life in an evocative new movie thriller
Ian Fleming’s covert force was the only intelligence-gathering unit trained and armed well enough for a daring raid on a Nazi radar installation in Norway
On the set of Ages Of Heroes, the new film starring Sean Bean (standing on right) about Ian Fleming's 30AU unit. James D'Arcy (seated) plays the James Bond author
In 1942, a Whitehall official visited the notorious safebreaker and cat burglar John Ramsey in Peterhead prison.
The civil servant had an intriguing offer from a naval intelligence officer called Ian Fleming. If Ramsey was prepared to put his criminal expertise to use in the war effort, he could expect a pardon. Ramsey, who had learnt to use explosives in the mining industry, readily agreed.
He was soon training with 30 Assault Unit (30AU), a new covert force formed by Fleming to seize Nazi military technology and scientists.
Safe-breaking skills were essential to Fleming’s plans. The Germans kept blueprints for missiles and radar equipment in bank vaults. An expert was needed to blow the safes. Ramsey is said to have cracked 14 in one day while in action in Italy.
The blurring of crime and war may have gone further. Some 30AU members suggest that looted gold and diamonds found in the vaults they raided were seen as a perk of the job. After the unit was disbanded, several men, looking for work, may have utilised their skill set on the other side of the law. Ramsey himself reverted to his old trade and was soon back in jail.
Unsurprisingly, 30AU’s secrecy and unusual recruitment methods were met with suspicion. George Patton, the US general, dismissed them as ‘a bunch of Limey pirates’.
Even a member of 30AU described their exploits as ‘running around Europe doing what we want’. They were, he said, ‘ghosts on the battlefield’.
Fleming went on to use several colourful personalities from the unit as templates for the character of James Bond, but the existence of 30AU itself was kept secret even after the war, robbing it of a place in history.
Now, for the first time, a British thriller, Age Of Heroes, puts on record the unit’s achievements. Starring Sean Bean and Danny Dyer, the film depicts a daring raid on a Nazi radar installation in Norway. Fleming’s covert force was the only intelligence-gathering unit trained and armed well enough to fight its way to targets.
Chillingly, he signed an order saying: ‘The necessity for avoiding or eliminating witnesses to successful action… is emphasised’. The message was unambiguous: they had a licence to kill.
The unit’s motto was ‘attain by surprise’. Most operations were behind enemy lines, with groups dropped by parachute, landing from sea, or infiltrating on land ahead of Allied forces. Fleming, who was initially in charge of planning missions with Lt Cdr Jim Glanville, called the unit his ‘Red Indians’.
Suspicion of 30AU was compounded by its apparent independence from frontline command. Groups usually consisted of two jeeps, a naval officer, between five and eight Marines, and often a scientist to identify equipment and papers. The officer carried a ‘black list’ of targets. Orders allocating men to a specific target were only issued at the last minute.
One operation in Brittany ended in disaster. A 30AU truck carrying two captured German torpedoes exploded when bumping over a booby-trapped level crossing during a hasty exit. Two men on board were flung on to a minefield. A second truck and accompanying jeeps could not stop to recover the bodies from such a dangerous position.
In its first incarnation, 30AU saw action in North Africa, Italy, the Greek Islands, Corsica and Norway. An enlarged 30AU took part in the D-Day landings. Among their targets were V1 flying bomb launch facilities in France and the Netherlands, which they photographed and documented, before calling in Spitfires to obliterate the sites.
By the time of the Allied invasion of Germany, 30AU had 400 men. The biggest prize was in sight: the Nazis’ futuristic military technology, including long-range versions of the V2 missile, aimed at hitting New York. It wasn’t just the Allies who wanted the expertise of Nazi scientists; the advancing Soviet army was racing to secure it, too.
The unit captured a previously unknown facility north of Cologne, which was working on rockets, guided missiles, along with jet and rocket-propelled aircraft. The men of 30AU also captured top scientists, including Hellmuth Walter, designer of the Messerschmitt rocket plane prototype, and Herbert Wagner, who created the Henschel Hs293 guided glide bomb.
The final tally included 25 U-boats and two destroyers, captured at Bremen dockyards, and jet rockets and planes, torpedoes and mines. In May 1945, Fleming’s Red Indians took their biggest scalp: Admiral Karl Dönitz, who succeeded as Führer after Hitler killed himself. Contemporary accounts dispute 30AU’s part in his capture, but the unit’s history confirms it.
James Bond is reckoned to be a composite of half a dozen 30AU officers, including Lt Cdr Patrick Dalzel-Job, Lt Jim Besant and Lt Cdr Ralph Izzard, known as something of a ladies’ man. They certainly considered themselves to be above the constraints imposed on the average serviceman. Records say 30AU were given to ‘mischief’ and exhibited too much of a ‘party spirit’ when arriving in French towns at night.
Threatened with jail and possibly execution, 30AU’s men stayed silent about the unit’s exploits. The Navy posted spies around the quiet Sussex seaside town of Littlehampton, where 30AU were billeted during the war, to see no one talked. One member, overheard discussing an operation in a pub one night, had disappeared by the next day.
Some 30AU veterans were bitter about the way they were treated after the unit was disbanded in 1946. Ron Guy, a 30AU sniper, only talked about his adventures shortly before his death aged 80 in 2006. His grandson, Guy Allan Farrin, then researched the unit, creating a website, which was used as reference on Age Of Heroes.
Farrin remembers his grandad as ‘a bit of a scallywag’ with a short fuse.
‘I remember him showing me how to zero in my air rifle sights when I was a boy,’ says Farrin.
‘I thought he seemed very knowledgeable about it. Even then I knew there must be more to his war career than he was letting on.’
After his grandfather’s death, Farrin found notes written by him describing his time in 30AU.
In one, he wrote: ‘We felt invincible at times. We were trained by experts from all over the globe to become ghosts on the battlefield, behind enemy lines. Some thought we were just a bunch of murdering cutthroats but that was never the case.’ He said he was thankful he’d never had to use his doubled-edged Fairbairn-Sykes knife to kill anyone.
‘I saw my grandfather in a different light after I found all this out,’ says Farrin.
‘He was a difficult man, but now I understood why. What he did was beyond my comprehension. These men lived with what they went through completely internally, never having any outlet to express their turmoil. Secrecy had been drilled into them so thoroughly many took it all to the grave.’
Sean Bean agrees that the tale of 30AU needs to be told.
‘This is a little bit special because it affected so many millions of people all over the world. For some reason we seem to be a little bit ashamed of bringing these things up today. But it’s time people heard this story.’
‘Age Of Heroes’ is in cinemas now. Guy Allan Farrin’s website documenting 30AU is at 30au.co.uk
Film Review: Age of Heroes
Sean Bean, Danny Dyer.
Second World War action tale about the formation of James Bond creator Ian Fleming’s 30 Commando unit.
Sean Bean is perfect as the grizzled leader of crack commandos behind enemy lines, while Danny Dyer impressively takes his role seriously too. Standard, but engaging, war film stuff with plenty of gunfights.
source: variety.com 1 November 2011
'Age of Heroes' tailored to sew up distrib'n deals
Low-budget actioner prepped for franchise potential
The low-budget World War II actioner "Age of Heroes," which premieres at AFM, is set to become a franchise just 18 months after rookie producers Lex Lutzus and James Brown first dreamed up the concept.
With sales way ahead of target and distributors clamoring for more, Lutzus and Brown are now preparing two sequels -- "Age of Glory" and "Age of Honor" -- to shoot back-to-back next spring.
That's a notable success story in a tough market, proving that distribs still have a large appetite for product tailored precisely to meet their needs. Lutzus and Brown both come from a background in distribution, and they conceived "Age of Heroes" to match what they felt buyers were looking for.
The pair previously worked together at defunct U.K. distrib Tartan, where Lutzus was COO and Brown was head of acquisitions. When Tartan folded, Brown moved across to the same role at Metrodome, while Lutzus tried to make her way as an indie producer. The idea for "Age of Heroes" germinated at Cannes in 2009.
"There was a lack of product out there to buy," Brown recalls. "Lex asked me what I needed, and I said a WWII story starring Sean Bean and Danny Dyer, but no one was going to walk through the door with that."
So they decided to make it themselves. They backed up that initial hunch with some exhaustive research to confirm an untapped demand for low-budget war movies. Pics with no stars such as "Saints and Soldiers" and "Passchendaele" had posted disproportionately strong DVD numbers. They also noted the success of the "Call of Duty" vidgames among the younger male audience.
With Dyer's strong DVD fanbase in the U.K. and Bean's international profile, Lutzus and Brown reckoned they could put together a commercially compelling package for financiers.
But first they needed a script. They sketched out a rough outline, and handed it to writer/director Adrian Vitoria, himself a WWII fanboy. "We wrote a very terrible action movie, and he came back with a proper war movie," says Brown. "That's when we realized we were in spitting distance of making this work."
The script was based on the true story of a Norwegian raid by James Bond author Ian Fleming's commando unit. The budget was $4 million including deferments, roughly $2.5 million without.
"It's easiest to make a film that could be theatrical but that's priced appropriately for video," says Brown. "In no way did we want to make an exploitative piece of crap that worked only in a commercial sense. We wanted to make a film we were proud of on a creative level, but that would still have a commercial outcome regardless of whether we achieved the creative outcome we were aiming for."
"We knew from the get-go we wanted a trilogy, so had to over-deliver with the first film," explains Lutzus. "So how do we get extra production value on the screen? Setting something in snow gives those beautiful vistas. When we sat down to do the plan, we said, 'No. 1, snow; No. 2, desert; No. 3, jungle.' "
This clear-eyed approach clicked with financiers. The coin came together from Metrodome, sales agent ContentFilm Intl. and equity from Matador, Magna and post house Prime Focus. Metrodome invested equity as well as buying the U.K. rights, which meant the other financiers could share the U.K. upside while Metrodome participated in any foreign value.
"The financiers certainly found it refreshing dealing with producers who had a clear understanding of the financial reality of releasing a film in any given country," Brown notes.
At Cannes this year, their hunch that the rising U.K. demand for war films would be mirrored abroad proved correct. Content exceeded all pre-sale expectations by hitting asking prices in multiple territories, even Germany.
"On our first film, we wanted to be developing relationships with Rolls Royce distributors, and we've got people like Transmission in Australia, Svensk in Scandinavia, Ascot Elite in Germany," Brown says. "Having been involved in distribution for so long, we know the difference between the Rolls Royce distributors and the others."
The AFM premiere will reveal whether they have delivered on the screen. Some territories, notably the U.S. and Spain, have been held back. But Metrodome has already expanded its U.K. release plans next February to 75 prints, and several of the foreign buyers have already said they want to exercise their sequel options.
During production, Brown remained at Metrodome, but he has now joined Lutzus as full-time partner in their shingle Neon Park. They have a deal with Metrodome, where Brown still serves as an acquisitions consultant, which keeps him close to market trends and coming filmmakers.
As well as prepping the sequels, they have another trilogy up their sleeve, though they are keeping the subject matter a secret for now. "We're trying to build a company, rather than being producers who just make one project at a time," Brown says.
first pictures appear...
source: 30. April 2010 Gravesend and District Theatre Guild
Want to be in a film with Sean Bean?
'Age Of Heroes' starring Sean Bean.
We are going to be filming in the Gravesend area and require some extras for next week. The film is set during the second world war and is the story of how Ian Fleming formed the 30 Commando and details their first mission to knock out the Nazi radio jamming stations along the coast of Norway.
The scenes we require extras for are set in the war room and Royal Military Prison Colchester. For the war room scenes we require 3 males and 3 females preferably under the age of 30. These people would have to be available for a costume fitting on Tuesday and be available for filming on Wednesday and possibly Thursday.
If anyone is interested please ask them to call me...
Sean Bean and Danny Dyer recreate Ian Fleming's 30 Commando in Age of Heroes
THE TRUE story of a team of Second World War commandos led by James Bond author Ian Fleming is brought to life in Age of Heroes.
Metrodome is releasing the film in UK cinemas on May 20 and then on DVD and Blu-ray on June 13.
This action-thriller reveals the fearless exploits of the 30 Commando, one of the most important elite units in the history of the British Armed Forces. Due to the secretive nature of the unit's work, it is a story not many people know about - and yet they risked their lives to protect their country.
Sean Bean (Lord Of The Rings, GoldenEye) and Danny Dyer (The Business, The Football Factory) star in the film version, which takes the heroes from the edge of defeat on the beaches of Dunkirk to the mountains of Norway on a search-and-destroy mission that, if successful, would change the course of the war.
In 1942, Eton-educated Fleming (played in the film by James D'Arcy, pictured above), then a Naval Commander who was personal assistant to the director of naval intelligence, had suggested the formation of a crack team to infiltrate behind enemy lines and learn the Nazis' most closely guarded secrets.
But the 30 Commando - formed within 12 months of the birth of the SAS, the elite Special Forces regiment - was more than just the brainchild of Ian Fleming; he also meticulously planned their raids and directly briefed the missions.
When the unit was officially disbanded at the end of the war, its techniques were a huge influence on the activities, methods and training of the SAS.
So it was obvious that the cast of Age of Heroes were going to have to be put through their paces to give a convincing performance in an adaptation of the wartime tale.
Ten days prior to the start of principal photography, the actors underwent a gruelling regime. Weapons training, physical conditioning and hand-to-hand combat sessions were re-created by real marines, who also held workshops to familiarise the cast with equipment and techniques common during World War II.
Danny Dyer (pictured below) was amused to see images of himself appear in a tabloid paper being held in a tight headlock by a marine during one of the training sessions.
Renowned as a bit of a 'lad' himself, Danny says he became involved in the project to remind audiences that he has acting skills and charisma, much like the character he plays - the rebellious but big-hearted Corporal Rains.
He is quick to point out how the training created a strong team atmosphere before a single reel had even been shot.
He says: "I was a bit worried about the training at first. I had an image of us running up and down hills, and just being completely beasted by soldiers saying 'you poncey little actors, who do you think you are?' But actually, I think they wanted to help us come together as a team. As a unit.
"They are never going to turn me into a commando in a week, so when we are out there [shooting the film], as long they are on my shoulder I am going to feel strong. What is really intriguing is to try and get into their minds a little and their mindset - because these are special people."
Lex Lutzus, a producer on the project, said: "I'd heard the story of Ian Fleming and the 30 Commando, and it just seemed absolutely incredible that no-one had made a film about this tale of the utmost bravery.
"We're talking about the formation of a group of elite soldiers whose cutting edge methods still influence the Armed Forces over sixty years later. And, more than anything, we knew that it would make an action-packed adventure that would excite cinemagoers all over the world."
The film was made entirely outside of the studio system, and many would say that producing a film independently can often be a hazardous mission in itself.
Producer James Brown explains: "It all happened reasonably fast, which is usually the sign of a good idea. When people put their money on the table quickly to get the movie made, that's when you know that you have something special.
"But then, in other ways, it has been a long journey and a lot of hard work. Up until the point when the cameras rolled, the most memorable moment for me was watching director Adrian Vitoria and screenwriter Ed Scates take our rough outline and turn it into an engaging and gripping screenplay. That's when it became a reality for me."
Vitoria and the production team set bringing the script to life when they joined forces with the agency Force Select, which specialises in finding employment for former members of the British Armed Forces who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Looking for stunt-people and extras for the action-packed Norwegian mountain-based sequence that provides the finale of the film, the producers approached Force Select to send a team of former soldiers to take part in the shoot.
Vitoria elaborates: "We had commandos, real British commandos, work on this project. They helped us and they played members of the SS. They are all ex-military men who have worked in Iraq and Afghanistan and have seen real action.
"Their contribution to this film was great and I think if anything it's given them an opportunity to see what we do in filmmaking and understand why it takes so long and why we can't include every single detail in the finished edit. They've educated us in the workings of warfare."
Danny Dyer says he gladly took inspiration from the Force Select lads: "It's great to be working anyway, as an actor, but it is really satisfying to be working on something that is making a difference. Because this Jobs For Heroes, I think it is an amazing thing. I've done a bit of work for the Help For Heroes as well. The fact that I will be playing a commando, it's a daunting thing.
"These boys are the real deal and I want to do it justice. It means a lot to me. It has given me a real incentive to maybe push myself to the next level because I know how much it means to these boys. I think if we can all come together on this film, then we could have something special on our hands."
As the production came entered its final phase and moved across to snowy Norway for the final couple of weeks of shooting, the production faced an increasing amount of unexpected external problems.
All flights between the UK to Norway were grounded due to the volcanic ash cloud which shut down much of European airspace in April 2010, making the transfer of equipment or personnel almost impossible.
Added to that, an airbound stomach virus was hitting several members of the cast and crew but, due to the fast-moving nature of the production schedule, the team volunteered to carry on despite illness to complete the film on time.
It was a challenging end that required everyone to step up their game. Especially since the majority of the film was shot without the benefit of extensive CGI or effects being added later to make it all look perfect.
Sean Bean (pictured above and top), who plays 30 Commando leader Major Jack 'Davey' Jones, believes this adds to the authenticity of the film, and recounts the challenges he faced: "It is a kind of mini-battle to get through a film of this nature - shooting real action sequences on location. It adds to the realism of what we are trying to do. You can't say that we did this in a studio or that we've done a lot of CGI work. I mean this is all real stuff, and [the cast] have done it all for real as well."
He says the inspirational true story is what led him to accept the role in the first place.
Bean explains: "A lot of films you do because they are good films and they are good stories but this is a little bit special because it is about something that really happened.
"It affected so many millions of people all over the world and it's a story that needs to be told. It's not complete make-believe, it is something that really happened and for some reason we seem to be a little bit ashamed of retelling these stories, of bringing these things up today. I think that it is about time that people heard this story."
Sean Bean - Bean And Dyer Stranded On Mountain
British actors SEAN BEAN and DANNY DYER were left stranded on a mountain in Norway for days, after flights across Europe were grounded earlier this month (Apr10).
The two stars were in the country to shoot scenes for their World War II movie Age of Heroes when an ash cloud from a volcanic eruption in Iceland closed off European airspace.
They found themselves stranded at a remote location of the shoot - and the situation got worse when a vomiting bug swept through the crew, forcing them to suspend filming.
In his column in British magazine Zoo, Dyer writes: "I'm suffering badly because of all this s**t. I'm up in Norway filming this WWII movie with Sean Bean, and we're in a f**king bad way up here - and because of two acts of God, we might not even be able to finish this film.
"The first one is the lack of flights because of that bloody volcano. But the second is that some c**t has got a virus that has spread through the whole crew. Everyone's dropping ill, people are spewing up left, right and centre... It's a nightmare. I've swerved it so far, but we can't fly people in to replace the ones who've got it. We're just stuck up this f**king mountain, waiting to get sick. It's totally surreal.
"Me and Sean have both got to do other things, so unless we can get this sorted, we're in a bad spot."
Thirty lads will work as extras alongside stars Sean Bean and Danny Dyer — and one ex-sharpshooter has signed up to teach the cast sniper techniques.
IF you are a sailor, soldier or airman leaving the Forces and want to apply for a job, log on to www.forceselect.com
IF you are a company with a vacancy you can offer to one of our brave ex-Servicemen or women, please send your details by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Age of Heroes follows the famous 30 Commando on their first covert mission.
Producer Lex Lutzus said: "The massive benefit of getting former soldiers is the authenticity. They know how to move, how to hold a weapon and how to handle extreme terrain.
"You don't get that with normal extras."
Filming begins next week in Norway, where the unit — forerunner of the SAS — were sent in to disable a Nazi communications tower.
Ex-Lance Corporal Jon Newcomb, 25, of Welling, South East London, will share shooting tips from five tours with special forces.
He said: "When I left the Army I had no idea I would be ending up on film sets talking with people like Sean Bean and Danny Dyer.
"Jobs for Heroes is really opening up some exciting doors."
The £5million film — the first of a trilogy — follows Sean, 50, as he sets up and leads a unit including Danny, 32.
The Sun has teamed up with recruitment firm ForceSelect to find careers for jobless ex-forces personnel. A portion of profits from the film will go to the ForceSelect Foundation which helps forces charities.
Bean Bonds With Heroes GoldenEye villain to star in film about Ian Fleming's commando unit.
ContentFilm International has acquired worldwide rights (excluding the UK and Scandinavia) to the World War II action film, Age of Heroes, which stars Sean Bean (the villainous Agent 006 in GoldenEye), Danny Dyer (Dead Man Running) and Rosie Fellner (The Crew).
The film is co-written by Ed Scates and Adrian Vitoria and directed by Adrian Vitoria (Hit Girls). More cast will be announced soon. The Dirty Dozen meets Tigerland in Age of Heroes, an action film based on the true story of the formation of Ian Fleming's 30 Commando, one of the most respected, secretive and exclusive special forces regiments formed during the Second World War, from which the now legendary SAS was born. (Ian Fleming would later become a novelist and create James Bond.)
The film will be shot in Norway and the UK with principal photography starting on April 6, 2010. Age of Heroes is the first in a trilogy of War Films (Age of Honor and Age of Glory make up the trio) that are first out the gate from Lex Lutzus' Neon Park, in collaboration with Nick O'Hagan's Giant Films and Cinedome.
Ambushed deep behind enemy lines in WW2, the young British corporal Rains (Dyer) fearlessly leads his men out of danger. But his rogue attitude costs him, and he's sent to an allied military prison for insubordination. When the highly esteemed Captain Jones (Bean) shows up, Rains's bravado and raw display of fighting skills impress Jones enough to recruit him for his 'Commando' unit.
After weeks of mentally intense and physically grueling training ops where Jones tests his men to their breaking point, they are quickly assigned their first mission; to parachute into occupied Norway and capture a deadly new radar technology from the Germans.
But as they get near the drop-zone, the newly formed band of brothers, joined by 'Norwegian yank' Steiner and beautiful blonde spy Jensen, find themselves in the midst of a fierce dogfight, before crash landing in a Norwegian village where Nazis have been mercilessly executing civilians. In a bloody battle in the mountains of Norway, outnumbered by an enemy as ruthless as it is clinical, the soldiers soon realize it's do-or-die time. And by pushing their innate skills and hardcore training to the nth degree, we see that this is no time for ordinary soldiers… This is the Age of Heroes.
Sean Bean set for war hero role
Sean Bean is to star in new World War II action drama Age Of Heroes.
The Sharpe star will appear alongside Danny Dyer and Rosie Fellner in the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Co-written by Vitoria and Ed Scates, the drama - the first in a planned trilogy - is based on the true story of the formation of Ian Fleming's 30 Commando unit, a precursor for the elite forces in the UK.
The film, which will be directed by Adrian Vitoria, is due to begin shooting on location in Norway early next month.
Danny revealed earlier this week he is attending an army training camp in Scotland to get into shape for the role.
The two films that follow will be titled Age Of Honor and Age Of Glory.
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