£1m movie to tell story of war hero Mark Wright

Mark Wright died serving in Afghanistan. Picture: PA
Mark Wright died serving in Afghanistan. Picture: PA
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A £1 million movie is to be made of the events surrounding the death of Afghan war hero Mark Wright who died saving the lives of his soldier pals.

Corporal Wright from Dalkeith, was killed at the age of 27 after entering a minefield in an attempt to save the lives of other injured soldiers in 2006.

The story is to be re-told in the first British war film based on a modern conflict.

The film, which has been given the working title Kajaki, is likely to be shot in Morocco.

But Mark Wright’s parents Bob and Jem have admitted that they might be too upset to watch a movie of their son’s life. Bob said that both he and his wife, who have set up a 
drop-in centre for ex-servicemen and women in his name, were “extremely proud” of their son. He said: “This film will show people the bravery not just of Mark, but of everyone who was involved. It’s also going to paint a picture of what the day-to-day reality is for serving soldiers.

“We were really surprised when we were approached about the film – it was a bit out of the blue.

“But I don’t think Jem and I will be watching it – it will be too emotional.”

Director Paul Katis, 59, from Pukka Films said: “We were having a look around for army stories and it occurred to me there had not been a British feature film on a modern 
conflict at all.

“Any war films we have done have tended to be about World War Two.

“That struck me as odd, given that the UK has been involved in so many conflicts.

“Mark’s story was a breathtaking example of boys becoming heroes in the most unlikely circumstances.

“It’s compelling and it’s contained enough to be made in to a film – but it’s not going to be an epic like the ones made in the US.”

Kajaki is the name of the town in Helmand that houses a dam which Mark and his colleagues were defending on the day he died.

With the support of the Ministry of Defence, some of the soldiers involved in the incident are to play roles alongside professional actors.

Paul said: “Once we met with Bob and Jem Wright the project took on a whole 
impetus of its own.

“We really wanted to make something that was authentic, so it was imperative that we spoke with the family.

“Then we got permission from the MoD to speak with the soldiers who were there at the time.

“There is barely nothing we have used in the film that has not been reported from the soldiers involved – the story got richer and richer with everyone that we spoke to. There is no enemy and such and no mention of politics, it’s just a compelling story.

“Mark lost his life that day but all the lads behaved 

Mark was awarded the George Cross, one of the highest awards in the UK for acts of gallantry.

Staff at the Midlothian centre set up in his name provide “hands-on” practical support and advice in helping ex-service men and women access services they need.