Based upon the celebrated filmmaker’s 1997 documentary "Little Dieter Needs to Fly," the story focuses on "German-born Dieter Dengler, who dreamed of being a pilot and eventually made his way to the United States, where he joined the military during the Vietnam War era. He was shot down over Vietnam and captured. Eventually he organized an escape with a small band of captives."
Mr. Bale will play Dengler, and Mr. Zahn will portray one of the POWs he makes his escape with. "Rescue Dawn" begins shooting in Thailand next month.