Cuaron steps out, Lion seeks general for ‘War’

Helmer to work on pic co-written with brother

Alfonso Cuaron has stepped away from the director’s chair on MGM’s “Hart’s War,” which is slated to go into production in April. A search is on for his replacement.

The Mexico City-born Cuaron is instead following his own heart: He is now directing “Y tu mama tambien” (“And Your Mother Also”) in Mexico, a Spanish-language production written by Cuaron with his brother, Carlos. The brothers also co-wrote Alfonso Cuaron’s 1991 Spanish-language feature debut, “Love in the Time of Hysteria.”

Cuaron, whose credits include “A Little Princess” and “Great Expectations,” originally committed to “Hart’s War” last September (Daily Variety, Sept. 19, 1999), but he began production first on “And Your Mother Also” in February.

The coming of age comedy will be presented by producers Alfonso Cuaron and Jorge Vergara in Cannes

With Cuaron still in production, MGM is eager to move forward on “Hart’s War,” which is produced by David Foster and David Ladd.

Adapted by Jeb Stuart (“The Fugitive”), “Hart’s War” is based on John Katzenbach’s novel that was inspired by the prisoner-of-war exploits of his father, Nicholas. The elder Katzenbach later became U.S. attorney general under President Lyndon Johnson.

In the film, the main character’s fictionalized name is Tommy Hart, a navigator in a B-24 bomber who is shot down over Europe and thrown into a POW camp. A law student prior to enlistment, Hart is assigned to defend the camp’s lone black prisoner, who has been falsely accused of murder.

Cuaron is repped by Endeavor.

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