‘Sherlock Holmes’ director making World War II secret operatives movie

Guy Ritchie is working on a new movie set during the Second World War.

The English director is best known for his two Sherlock Holmes movies, starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law.

He’s also helmed King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, The Man From UNCLE, and Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake.

Ritchie is now taking on the World War II genre with an adaptation of The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: How Churchill’s Secret Warriors Set Europe Ablaze and Gave Birth to Modern Black Ops by historian Damien Lewis.

The book’s synopsis reads: “[This is] the incredible true story of the top-secret “butcher-and-bolt” black ops units Prime Minister Winston Churchill tasked with stopping the unstoppable German war machine. Criminals, rogues, and survivalists, the brutal tactics and grit of these “deniables” would define a military unit the likes of which the world had never seen.

“When France fell to the Nazis in 1940, Churchill declared that Britain would resist the advance of the German army–alone if necessary. Churchill commanded the Special Operations Executive to secretly develop of a very special kind of military unit that would operate on their own initiative deep behind enemy lines. The units would be licensed to kill, fully deniable by the British government, and a ruthless force to meet the advancing Germans.

“The very first of these “butcher-and-bolt” units–the innocuously named Maid Honour Force–was led by Gus March-Phillipps, a wild British eccentric of high birth, and an aristocratic, handsome, and bloodthirsty young Danish warrior, Anders Lassen. Amped up on amphetamines, these assorted renegades and sociopaths undertook the very first of Churchill’s special operations–a top-secret, high-stakes mission to seize Nazi shipping in the far-distant port of Fernando Po, in West Africa.

“Though few of these early desperadoes survived WWII, they took part in a series of fascinating, daring missions that changed the course of the war. It was the first stirrings of the modern special-ops team, and all of the men involved would be declared war heroes when it was all over.”

Ritchie’s most recent movie, The Gentlemen, starred Michelle Dockery from Downton Abbey.

A third Sherlock Holmes movie was in development, but the project has been put on hold for now due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is expected to arrive in cinemas in 2022.

Damien Lewis’s book The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is available on Amazon.