Berlin Wall story about attempted escapes in early '60s has book and movie deal

A book about attempted escapes under the Berlin Wall and the support of American television has been acquired by Crown Publishers and optioned for a feature film.

Greg Mitchell, an author and contributor to the Huffington Post, has a deal with Crown for "The Tunnels." Set in the early 1960s, when the wall went up, the book focuses on attempts by West Germans to sneak loved ones out of East Germany. Sensing a dramatic story, NBC and CBS each tried to help the East Germans, while John F. Kennedy's administration worried about relations with the Soviet Union. Mitchell drew upon interviews and previously classified documents.

No publication date has been set, Crown announced Wednesday. Film rights were purchased recently by FilmNation Entertainment, with Paul Greengrass expected to direct.