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GiantKiller Pictures plans to produce three films based on the five-book Lion of War Series by Cliff Graham, telling the story of the giant killer David and his mighty men (“Gibborim”).

The series follows the life and exploits of the historical King David from exiled warlord to King of a united ancient Israel.
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The Lion of War trilogy will be directed by David L. Cunningham (Beyond Paradise, To End All Wars, The Seeker: The Dark is Rising) and produced by Grant Curtis (Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, Drag Me To Hell), and is currently being adapted for film by screenwriter John Fusco (Young Guns, Hidalgo, The Forbidden Kingdom). Director David L. Cunningham is the son of Loren and Darlene Cunningham, founders of Youth With A Mission (“YWAM”) – a Christian missionary organisation with over 11,000 staff from over 130 countries, which organises sports camps, dramas, musical events, and other arts events as venues to convert young people to Christianity. Much of the filming for the trilogy is planned to be carried out in Hawai’i, where Cunningham was raised (in Kailua-Kona).

It is hoped that the Gibborim will do for the Big Island what the Hobbits did for New Zealand.

Only the first of the planned five books in the Lion of War series, Day of Warhas been released to date (Zondervan, 4 June 2011). The second book, Covenant of War, is due for release on 13 February 2012.


In ancient Israel, at the crossroads of the great trading routes, a mercenary named Benaiah has come to the camps of the warlord David, believed by many to be the man destined to take the throne. Over the course of ten days, from snowy mountain passes to sword-racked battlefields, Benaiah and the other members of David’s ragtag army must battle overwhelming odds to protect everything they hold dear, all the while encountering the mysterious God of the Hebrews that David so passionately follows.


Civil war has raged for seven years across the kingdom of Israel between those loyal to the dead King Saul’s line and the young warlord David. Newly crowned as king, David must rely upon his most elite warriors, known as the Mighty Men, to hold off an invasion of their hated enemy the Philistines while simultaneously trying to heal the wounds of tribal strife. To make matters worse, there is evidence of a traitor in the inner circle of the king.


Lion of War books

Lion of War books

The author of the Lion of War series Cliff Graham is a military chaplain in the United States Army and was involved in the second US invasion of Iraq. He is a speaker at events such as “Man Church”, “Men Sharpening Men”, and YWAM.

Cliff Graham on his masculine readers:

LION OF WAR is shamelessly masculine in its tone and intended audience. That has led to an uphill battle, because men don’t read as much as women. 80% of all book bought in a Christian bookstore are bought by women, for example.

Cliff Graham on the summary execution of Osama bin Laden:

It’s not so much that a death should be celebrated; rather, that justice has been done, and said justice was carried out by a group of warriors who have quietly ignored the sensitivity training popular culture has been demanding of men. As details emerged of the raid, with all of the elements of the most exciting Hollywood movie, we were confronted with the reality that supermen really do live among us…. At its worst, manhood is capable of terrible heartache, oppression, and evil. But at its best, while the world was depending on it, the higher callings of chivalry and valor prevailed, and a group of rough men did dangerous things so that their ladies and children could sleep peacefully at night.

Cliff Graham

Cliff Graham

Cliff Graham on the un-Jewish, red-headed David:

The word “ruddy” here is the Hebrew word admoni, and it hints at reddish hair. However, it’s not specific to red, and it’s likely that he didn’t have pure red hair in the Irish manner we know of as that would have been inconsistent with the ethnic Hebrew skin and hair tone. A better description might be that he had auburn hair; somewhere between brown and red. Regardless of how red his hair actually was, he would have stood out significantly from other Hebrew men, who had very dark hair.

Cliff Graham on Tim Tebow:

… a warrior’s heart is evident in this guy…. I hope Tim reads Day of War one day. Not just because I wrote it, but because I think he would resonate with the theme of leaving it all on the battlefield, wherever and whatever that battlefield might be.