The epic 1942 Battle of Midway is set to receive the Hollywood treatment in a film to be released in 2019 and that has a tentative budget of $100 million. The film is set to follow U.S. soldiers and sailors throughout the battle in a fictionalized account.
Roland Emmerich will be directing the film, which will be produced by Bona Film Group of China and written by Wes Tooke. A Chinese film production company’s involvement in the project is telling, as the victory in the Pacific for the United States was also a turning point in the history of China as it began recovering from one of its darkest periods in history, during which time the Japanese army inflicted extreme terror and destruction throughout China and Indochina.
Roland Emmerich’s most recent project was as writer and director of Independence Day: Resurgence, while his biggest box office success to date has been 2004’s The Day After Tomorrow. Bona Film Group, listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange, has about a 10% share of China’s film market and has been attempting to make inroads in the United States.
The real Battle of Midway happened in June 1942, about six months after Pearl Harbor. Although the United States productive capacity was well beyond that of Japan, Japan had hoped that the losses suffered by the United States’ navy at Pearl Harbor would allow it to win the war in the Pacific before American industry could make the war unwinnable for Japan. For a short period after Pearl Harbor, it was still conceivable that Japan could execute on that plan. The Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia all fell in the early part of 1942.
Japanese action at Midway, an island almost in the center of the Pacific Ocean (thus its name “Midway”) and an important naval base for the United States, was targeted to destroy the American carrier fleet and firmly establish dominance in the Pacific. Japanese defeat was aided by cryptologists who had broken Japanese military codes and knew the attack was coming. The victory at Midway changed the direction of the war in the Pacific and paved the way for ultimate victory.