Universal and Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner have tapped Kevin Macdonald to direct “Bobby Fischer Goes to War.”
The drama about the upstart chess whiz’s triumph over Boris Spassky in the World Chess Championship in 1972 is scripted by Shawn Slovo, based on the book by David Edmonds and John Eidinow. Bevan and Fellner will produce.
A prodigy from Brooklyn who reached grandmaster stature at 15, Fischer became a global celebrity at 29 after defeating the world’s best player, becoming the only American to win that title. The matches, held in Reykjavik, Iceland, were covered like a sporting event and became a symbol in the posturing between Cold War superpowers.
Fischer, who died earlier this month, became known in his later years for outspoken comments, anti-Semitic rants and an eccentric and reclusive nature.
Macdonald won an Oscar for the documentary “One Day in September” before making his scripted directing debut on “The Last King of Scotland.”
His next pic, “State of Play,” is an adaptation of the British miniseries that stars Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck and Helen Mirren.
Macdonald will then helm epic Roman drama “Eagle of the Ninth,” which is being produced by Duncan Kenworthy with backing from Film4.