Ben August has been tapped to adapt the story of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, the only recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, as a feature film.
August will adapt from Mercedes Graf‘s book A Woman Of Honor: Dr. Mary E. Walker And The Civil War. The stage play Independence: The True Story Of Dr. Mary Walker, written by Lloyd J. Schwartz, was also acquired.
The narrative will follow Walker’s journey during the Civil War as she struggled to be accepted and compensated in the same manner as her male counterparts in the medical field. Even after receiving her medical degree at Syracuse Medical College, Walker was considered unfit for the Union Army Examining Board and initially was only allowed to serve voluntarily as a surgeon.
While serving in the war, she was captured by confederate soldiers after boldly crossing enemy lines to treat wounded civilians and was arrested as a spy, eventually being released in a prisoner exchange. She ultimately became the first and only female recipient to receive the Congressional Medal Of Honor – the U.S. government’s highest and most prestigious military decoration.
The film will be produced by David Permut (Hacksaw Ridge, Face/Off) for Walden Media alongside Naia Cucukov.
August has previously written the Atom Egoyan drama Remember and romcom Class Rank. He’s currently working on an adaptation of David E. Hoffman‘s book The Billion Dollar Spy, which has Amma Assante attached to direct.
Permut is an Oscar-nominated producer, and the story of Dr. Walker has all the makings of a prestige awards contender. Obviously attention now turns to who will play her, and who will direct August’s script.