NEW YORK (Jul. 11)
The Uganda rescue raid that electrified the world has spawned a series of instant book and film ventures by publishers and movie-makers who believe in striking while the headlines are hot. Bantam Books, a paperback publishing house, announced over the weekend that it will have its Hebrew-language edition of a book tentatively titled “Ninety Minutes at Entebbe” off the presses next week with the English edition to follow a week later.
The author is Uri Dan, military affairs correspondent of the Israeli newspaper Maariv, who had a 30-minute telephone interview with Ugandan President Idi Amin a day after the rescue. The interview will be included in the book which is being co-authored with a Canadian writer, William Stevenson, Bantam said.
Universal Studies in Hollywood announced at the same time that it will produce a film to be called “Rescue at Entebbe” to be directed by George Roy Hill, director of the Academy Award winning movie “The Sting.” Elliot Kastner, an independent film-maker, announced a movie on the same subject to be titled “Assault at Entebbe.”
Merv Griffin Productions, however, appears to have the inside track for its movie version called “Odyssey of 139.” The president of the firm, Murray Schwartz, was a passenger on the hijacked Air France jet and was among the first hostages to be released.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Consul for cultural affairs, Chaim Heffer, disclosed that he has been approached by 4 or 5 filmmakers soliciting the Israeli government’s cooperation in various productions. Heffer said the government was skeptical of Hollywood’s sudden interest.