Spielberg to helm tale of Bataan Death March survivors

This article was corrected on Jan. 27, 2002.

Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner’s Par-based C/W Prods. will develop historian Hampton Sides’ bestseller “Ghost Soldiers” for Cruise to star and Steven Spielberg to helm.

The project, a first draft of which was penned by scribe Josh Friedman, would be a co-production between U and DreamWorks Pictures. Chairman Stacey Snider and co-prexy of production Scott Stuber will oversee development of the project for U. Marc Platt is its originating producer.

Cruise and Spielberg have just finished lensing “Minority Report” for Twentieth Century Fox.

“Ghost Soldiers” refers to survivors of World War II’s Bataan Death March, who remained in a Japanese prison camp for three years until freed by Allied forces.

Similar WWII Philippines war projects based on real life are being developed elsewhere around town. “The Great Raid,” with Benjamin Bratt playing Col. Henry Mucci, is set up at Miramax Films; at Columbia Pictures, “They Fought Alone” is based on the events of Col. Wendell Fertig, an American soldier in the Philippines who formed a guerrilla movement with a team of U.S. soldiers. “Alone” is based on a draft from writer William Nicholson, with David Fincher eyeing that project.

Spielberg and Cruise are repped by Creative Artists Agency.

Cruise-Wagner drafting ‘Soldiers’

By CLAUDE BRODESSER and JONATHAN BING

Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner’s Par-based C/W Prods. will develop historian Hampton Sides’ bestseller “Ghost Soldiers” for Cruise to star and Steven Spielberg to helm.

The project, a first draft of which was penned by scribe Josh Friedman, would be a co-production between U and DreamWorks Pictures. Chairman Stacey Snider and co-prexy of production Scott Stuber will oversee development of the project for U.

Cruise and Spielberg have just finished lensing “Minority Report” for Twentieth Century Fox.

“Ghost Soldiers” refers to survivors of World War II’s Bataan Death March, who remained in a Japanese prison camp for three years until freed by Allied forces.

Similar WWII Philippines war projects based on real life are being developed elsewhere around town. “The Great Raid,” with Benjamin Bratt playing Col. Henry Mucci, is set up at Miramax Films; at Columbia Pictures, “They Fought Alone” is based on the events of Col. Wendell Fertig, an American soldier in the Philippines who formed a guerrilla movement with a team of U.S. soldiers. “Alone” is based on a draft from writer William Nicholson, with David Fincher eyeing that project.

Spielberg and Cruise are repped by Creative Artists Agency.

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