Screenwriter David Ayer has apologised for "distorting" history in his 2000 film U-571, which suggested the Americans recovered the Enigma code instead of the British in World War Two. The US writer admitted his manipulation of the truth was a "mercenary" attempt to please American cinema-goers. The Harvey Keitel-starring movie even came under fire from UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who branded it an "affront" to British sailors. Ayer says, "It was a distortion, a mercenary decision to create this parallel history in order to drive the movie for an American audience. "Both my grandparents were officers in World War Two, and I would be personally offended if somebody distorted their achievements. "I met with the Royal Navy officer who actually went down into the U-boat and recovered the Enigma machine in 1941. "He seemed OK with it, he was a great guy, but I understand how important that event is to the UK, and I won't do it again."