AOPA member produces new movie

Sharing his son’s passion for film in ‘Wolf Hound’

Steve Chait is a commercial pilot, Beechcraft Debonair owner, and practicing aviation attorney in Michigan. He now adds “movie producer” to his list of accomplishments.

Michael Chait and Steve Chait.
Michael Chait and Steve Chait.

Wolf Hound marks the feature film directorial debut of his son Michael B. Chait. The film relies heavily on the Chaits’ aviation knowledge and on aircraft and scenes from Michigan’s Yankee Air Museum in Belleville. The museum’s bomber plant hangar was used for location and its North American B–25 Mitchell Rosie’s Reply and Boeing B–17 appear in the movie.

Wolf Hound is inspired by true events. It takes place in 1944 in German-occupied France. A Jewish-American fighter pilot is shot down behind enemy lines and must work to rescue a captured B–17 Flying Fortress crew. He discovers that the Germans are loading a U.S.-marked aircraft with a superbomb. Inspired by the real-life German special operations unit KG 200 that shot down, repaired, and flew Allied aircraft as “trojan horses,” the movie features the Boeing B–17, North American P–51 Mustangs, a Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane, the Mitchell, and a Messerschmitt Bf 109. The Spitfire, Hurricane, P–51s, Bf 109, and B–25 came from the Military Aviation Museum founded and owned by Gerald Yagen and located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Most of the aerial sequences were shot in Virginia Beach and Suffolk, Virginia. The Military Aviation Museum’s B–25 Wild Cargo was used for aerial and exterior shots.

“Growing up around airports and in the aviation world because of my dad, I managed to make quite a few connections in the airshow and pilot communities and was fortunate enough to direct two commercials for the U.S. Air Force/Air National Guard after college, and then several for The Yankee Air Museum,” said Michael Chait. “World War II was always a fascinating subject at my family’s house. I am a Jewish man from a Jewish family, so the emotion and weight of what World War II meant has always hit me hard. I wanted to make audiences’ jaws drop with incredible aerial action sequences, with real World War II fighters and bombers instead of CG, and real ground action scenes with lots of stunts, explosions, and gunfire, but always putting character, emotion, and the underdog hero story front and center.”

Michael Chait directed from the screenplay by Timothy Ritchey. Craig Hosking was the aerial coordinator and lead pilot; he performed those same roles in the 2017 movie Dunkirk. Along with cinematographer Westley Gathright (who worked with Chait on his airplane documentary B–52: Three Generations) and aerial director of cinematography Dwayne McClintock, the team captured live action footage with minimal use of digital effects. Forty-five minutes of the film’s 120-minute run features aerial sequences.

The movie stars James Maslow and Trevor Donovan and is in select theaters and on demand June 3; home release on Blu-ray and DVD is July 12.

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Julie Walker

Julie Summers Walker

AOPA Senior Features Editor
AOPA Senior Features Editor Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.

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