From Spider-Man to smuggling Jews

World War II novel "Beneath a Scarlet Sky" to get Hollywood treatment

August 16, 2017 21:48
1 minute read.
From Spider-Man to smuggling Jews

Tom Holland. (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)


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The true story of an Italian teenager who helped smuggle Jews over the Alps during World War II will be getting the Hollywood treatment – from the same team behind Spider-Man: Homecoming.

According to, Mark Sullivan’s novel Beneath a Scarlet Sky, which was based on a true story, is being adapted as a motion picture.

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Amy Pascal, who produced the latest Spider-Man film, has reportedly acquired the film rights to the novel, and tapped actor Tom Holland to play the lead role. Holland, who has been playing Spider- Man for Marvel Comics since 2015, has been praised as a break-out star.

Sullivan’s novel follows the real-life story of Pino Lella, an Italian teenager who ends up joining an underground railroad during World War II. He helps Jews escape to freedom as Nazi forces close in. But Lella’s parents are terrified for his safety, and think he will be kept out of combat if he enlists as a German soldier.

He ends up becoming the personal driver for General Hans Leyers, one of Hitler’s top commanders in Italy. Lella now has an opportunity to spy for the Allies from inside the top ranks of the German army.

Sullivan’s novel, which was published in May, has received many positive reviews and become a quick best-seller.

Pascal, who is Jewish, was ousted as the studio boss at Sony Pictures in 2015 after an embarrassing email hacking scandal. But as the head of her own production company, Pascal Pictures, she appears to be making a comeback.

In 2008, Pascal was honored by the Simon Wiesenthal Center with its highest honor, the Humanitarian Award, “for her commitment to cultural diversity, social responsibility and philanthropy.”

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