Film producer, part-time Aspen resident Brad Krevoy explores making series about 10th Mountain Division
The Aspen Times
A successful film industry executive with strong personal and professional connections to Aspen — think of the movie “Dumb and Dumber” — has set his sights on making a series on the famed 10th Mountain Division.
Brad Krevoy has put an option on one book about the mountain soldiers’ experiences in World War II and is in the process of securing one on a second book. They would provide the source material.
He also is working to recruit an “A-list script writer” for the project, he said during a telephone interview from his Aspen home Friday. His preliminary vision is for a limited series that would show on a streaming platform such as Netflix or Hulu.
“I’ve always wanted to make a story about the 10th Mountain,” he said. “I feel the story about the 10th Mountain is so relevant today. It’s about people coming together from all walks of life to accomplish something that nobody thought was possible.”
Krevoy has been coming to Aspen for more than 40 years. He worked during college breaks at the Isis Theater for Kitty and Dominic Linza. He established a home in Aspen after his career took off.
During his time in Aspen he learned about the 10th Mountain Division and was awestruck. He said it is still inspiring for him to see the statues in the Silver Queen Gondola Plaza honoring the 10th Mountain Division and Friedl Pfeifer, a veteran of the mountain troops who was instrumental in developing the Aspen ski industry.
“The community is so connected to the 10th Mountain Division,” he said. “It’s amazing to me.”
Krevoy has been directly involved in one way or another in the creation of more than 100 motion picture and television projects. He co-founded Motion Picture Corp. of America and released “Dumb and Dumber” in 1994 despite industry skepticism about that type of movie. The comedy with a strong Aspen connection was a blockbuster.
Krevoy also successfully gambled on the appeal of a military movie in 2009 called “Taking Chance.” It’s about a Marine colonel’s experiences while escorting the body of a soldier killed in the Iraq War back to his hometown. The movie premiered on HBO and was successful because it had such a strong emotional element, Krevoy said.
He believes the story of the 10th Mountain Division possesses a similar, strong emotional appeal. Young men ranging from U.S. farm boys to Europeans who left their countries to flee fascism came together to form the division of mountain troops. Critical parts of their training occurred at Camp Hale, 40 miles from Aspen.
The 10th Mountain Division troops performed admirably by undertaking a nighttime climb of Riva Ridge in Italy on Feb. 18, 1945, and dislodging Germany troops from the Mount Belvedere area after several days of intense fighting. That allowed the U.S. Fifth Army to advance into the Po Valley.
Krevoy called the 10th Mountain Division’s actions “an important turning point” because it led to Germany’s ouster from Italy.
“In the middle of the night, this, I would say, this misfit group of skiers and outdoors people and patriotic soldiers took (Riva Ridge) by surprise in February 1945,” Krevoy said. “Nobody thought it could be done — and they did it. They did the impossible.
“To me it’s a credit to the grit of these young soldiers. That’s the best storytelling you could ever have, and it’s true.”
He noted that so many of the soldiers returned to the mountains after World War II and played critical roles in developing the ski industry and ski towns.
Just as Aspen’s played a key role in developing Krevoy’s career, it is connected to his 10th Mountain Division project. Aspen Skiing Co. President and CEO Mike Kaplan recommended a couple of months ago that Krevoy get in touch with retired U.S. Marine Colonel Thomas Duhs. Duhs has co-written two fact-based novels about the 10th Mountain Division with author Kris Tualla, and he also makes presentations on the mountain troops based on his extensive research. Duhs gave a presentation last week at the Pitkin County Library that was well attended.
The men talked and Krevoy placed an option on Duhs and Tualla’s book, “Sempre Avanti Always Forward: A Novel about the Tenth Mountain Division in WW II.”
Duhs said Friday he has felt through years of research, writing and presentations that the story of the 10th Mountain Division was worthwhile for a movie or series. He said Krevoy has been up-front about the challenges of finding the right script writer, a financial partner and all the other pieces necessary to get the series made, but he’s optimistic it will happen.
“He has a track record,” Duhs said.
The men skied Aspen Mountain on Thursday and talked about the possibilities. Duhs said he will play a role as a historical consultant and whatever else Krevoy wants.
Krevoy said he wants to create a series that appeals to an audience that’s both young and old — and honors deserving veterans.
“It’s an extraordinary group of guys, and I’m sorry I’m starting a little late on this,” he said. “We’ve lost so many of them.”
He predicted he would probably hear from people who don’t think the series will get made, just as there were skeptics about “Dumb and Dumber” and “Taking Chance.”
“Of the projects I’ve taken on, I’ve had a pretty good batting average of getting them done,” he said. “And I feel this one needs to be told.”