Sir Ranulph Fiennes, an English adventurer, polar explorer and former S.A.S. man is the author of The Feather Men, the novel on which this film is adapted. Although he has often claimed the novel was a true story, the families of the real dead S.A.S. men named in the novel who died on S.A.S. exercises, and the S.A.S. themselves publicly attacked it as sick exploitation and complete fiction. The S.A.S. even went on the record to disown both Fiennes and the book, with Lieutenant Colonel Ian Smith telling the Daily Mail "It was utter bulls-it, the figment of a fertile imagination. What was really upsetting, was that it was making a story out of a tragedy." Maggie Denaro, the widow of one of the dead S.A.S. men said of Fiennes, "It's time he grew up. He's made his money out of the book. He should come clean. When the book came out saying Mike had been murdered, we knew it wasn't true. But that didn't stop our children from being upset when other people believed it." Although Fiennes claims he sent a manuscript of the book to the S.A.S. and the families of the dead men, who gave their approval, they have all unequivocally denied his claim.
The side-issue of whether the story is true or not has as many twists as the plot itself. As mentioned above, all the families and the S.A.S. denied they had been consulted or involved in any way with the book. However, an article the Daily Mail Online was forced to include an amendment when the widow of Major Mike Kealy admitted she had read and approved of every page that related to her husband.
Twenty-five actors and actresses featured, have either lived, or were born in Australia: Dominic Purcell, Yvonne Strahovski, Ben Mendelsohn, Matthew Nable, Firass Dirani, Nick Tate, Bille Brown, Stewart Morritt, Grant Bowler, Michael Dorman, Daniel Roberts, Rodney Afif, Jamie McDowell, Dion Mills, Chris Anderson, Sandy Greenwood, Michael Carman, Barry Stones, Kristy Barnes-Cullen, Ray Tiernan, Blake O'Leary, Tim Hughes, Tony Porter, Lachy Hulme, and Salim Fayad.