Well, with “The Great Gatsby” pushed back to next summer, Tobey Maguire is suddenly free of any press obligations or awards season gladhanding and it looks like he’s putting his hat back into the ring of making movies. Just yesterday he signed on to lead and produce “Z For Zachariah” for “Compliance” director Craig Zobel, and now, a project that first rose to the surface a couple of years ago, has some new life.
Ed Zwick has come on board to direct “Pawn Sacrifice,” which is, yes, a movie about chess. First announced in the spring of 2010, with David Fincher loosely attached to direct (it was later revealed he took a meeting, and offered some advice, but nothing more), the film was penned by Steven Knight (“Eastern Promises“) and tells the story of American chess player Bobby Fischer and his 1972 victory over Russian chess champ Boris Spassky which saw him take Spassky’s world champion title in a match billed as a “Cold War battle.” Maguire will take the role of the eccentric Fischer, who became a grandmaster at the age of 15, but later in his career fell into seclusion, forfeited his title and fell out with the U.S. government, eventually living in exile. He briefly reappeared in 1992 to beat Spassky in a rematch.
While Zwick isn’t exactly the most exciting choice to helm this movie, the material itself is captivating and fascinating as hell even if you don’t know your bishop from your rook. No word yet on when this might lens, but until then, we strongly recommend watching the documentary “Bobby Fischer Against The World” where this match (and Fischer’s life) is chronicled, as well as Steve Zaillian‘s underrated “Searching For Bobby Fischer.” [Deadline]