In a marked departure from his previous movies, Irish director Lenny Abrahamson is reported to have signed up to make a film adaptation of The Grand Escape, a World War One drama about a team of daredevil pilots who break out of a German POW camp.

The Grand Escape tells the story of the pilots who are held at Holzminden, one of Germany's most infamous camps during WWI. The trio lead the war's greatest mass prison escape in July, 1918, just months before the end of the war. 

Empire magazine reports that Abrahamson, who was recently Oscar nominated for his award-winning film of Room, will direct the movie, which is based on a yet to be published book by Neal Bascomb, the US author who specialises in real-life adventure stories.

The pilots' adventure has hit screens before. In 1938 Jack Hawkins starred in a British war movie based on the story called Who Goes Next? and in 2014, National Geographic made a documentary about the events in a drama called The First Great Escape.

Abrahamson, whose previous films also include Adam and Paul, What Richard Did, and Frank, is also working on a TV series for streaming service Hulu starring Hugh Laurie.

The director told TEN last year that he is also working on a biopic of the American boxer Emile Griffith.