Werner HerzogIn 1997, Werner Herzog made Little Dieter Needs to Fly, a documentary about Dieter Dengler, an airman who was shot down over Laos during the Viet Nam war. Dengler was held captive, tortured, and later escaped, and the film tells his story by taking him back to the site of his experiences. The memory of Dengler clearly stuck with Herzog, because he's now made Rescue Dawn, a fiction version of the story that stars Christian Bale. The film isn't due for release in the US until March (oddly, given Herzog's international stature, it's only been picked up in the US), but Gibraltar Films released a short trailer this weekend - yep, it looks grim.

I'm a massive Herzog fan, but I'm try to temper my expectations for this one - though 2005 has been a great year for him because of the success of Grizzly Man and the two other highly praised documentaries that hit the US this year, his recent fiction films have just not been very good. Hopefully Rescue Dawn will be a turning point rather than just another disappointment.

[via AICN]