Screenwriter Christopher Hampton (Atonement, Dangerous Liaisons) recently spoke to Collider about his upcoming projects, including the Iva Toguri biopic that he's writing for Frank Darabont to direct. Toguri, a Japanese-American who was in Japan during WWII, was one of only a handful of people in U.S. history to actually be tried and convicted for treason, for her participation in Japanese propaganda radio broadcasts aimed at U.S. servicemen. (You may remember a scene in Clint Eastwood's Flags of our Fathers in which the soldiers listen to the creepy broadcast of Orphan Ann -- Toguri's radio moniker -- in which they're told about fictional U.S. war defeats and also told that their sweethearts back home are cheating on them.) Toguri would also sign off her broadcasts to the troops as "your number one enemy," although she later claimed this to be tongue-in-cheek.
In fact, the case against her was notoriously flimsy -- seven out of eight treason charges were dropped, and although she was convicted and imprisoned, she was later pardoned by Gerald Ford. The one charge that prosecutors snagged her on was related to a broadcast she made in October, 1944, in which she can be heard saying "Orphans of the Pacific, you really are orphans now. How will you get home now that all your ships are lost?" Hampton's screenplay will portray her trial as "a witch hunt. She was absolutely innocent," he says. "Her trial happened to be the longest and most expensive in American legal history at the time -- in the late 40s ... the contours of the story are beginning to emerge and I'm starting to know what I have to keep and what I don't need."