Clint Eastwood (search) and Steven Spielberg (search) reportedly are joining forces to bring the World War II battle of Iwo Jima to the big screen.

According to TV Guide, Eastwood will direct an adaptation of the book "Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima" for Spielberg's company DreamWorks.

The book was written by James Bradley (search) — whose father was one of the six soldiers who raised the flag at Iwo Jima — and Ron Powers.

The battle of Iwo Jima in February-March 1945 was crucial for both sides. The Volcano Islands, which include Iwo Jima, were 700 miles south of Tokyo and part of the capital prefecture — thus the first part of Japan proper to be invaded.

The Americans wanted its three airstrips as a way station for long-range bombing raids on Tokyo, and for the invasion of Okinawa.

Mount Suribachi, a 550-foot dead volcano at the tiny, teardrop-shaped island's southern tip, was where five Marines and a Navy corpsman raised the flag on the third day and were captured on film by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal.