Spielberg Tackles the '72 Olympics
Already the subject of an award-winning documentary, the Palestinian terrorist attack on the Israeli team at the 1972 Munich Olympics will serve as the focus of Steven Spielberg’s next, as-yet untitled movie.
Variety reports that “Forrest Gump” and “The Insider” screenwriter Eric Roth has written the script, and Ben Kingsley, who also appeared in Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List,” will appear in the film, which will be a co-production between Spielberg’s DreamWorks studio and Universal.
The movie is expected to begin shooting in Europe in June. Spielberg, who was just 26 in 1972, declined to comment on the project.
By way of historical background, the 1972 Olympics in Germany were initially known as where Los Angeles swimmer Mark Spitz splashed his way to the gold.
But at 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 5, 1972, five terrorists wearing tracksuits and toting weapons in their knapsacks climbed the 6’6″ fence surrounding the Olympic Village, where three more men met them inside. The intruders knocked on the door of Israeli wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg, who attempted to block the door with weightlifter Joseph Romano — only to be killed by the terrorists. They then rounded up nine other Israelis to hold as hostages.
The 2000 British documentary “One Day in September” clocked the horror of the events, also exposed the shocking complacency of the murder by the German government, as well as by the Olympic committee, which kept the games going.
As Los Angeles Times sports columnist Jim Murray wrote at the time: “Incredibly, they’re going on with it. It’s almost like having a dance at Dachau.”