Robert Zemeckis Boards Film Based on Documentary ‘Marwencol’ at Universal

Marwencol Robert Zemeckis

Production will recruit high-profile actor for lead

Robert Zemeckis has attached himself to direct Universal’s “Marwencol,” a real-life drama based on the 2010 documentary.

Universal optioned Mark Hogancamp’s life rights and the documentary based on Hogancamp’s story.

ImageMovers will produce under its Universal-based banner. Director of the 2010 documentary Jeff Malmberg will executive produce.

Caroline Thompson is penning the script.

The documentary revolved around Hogancamp, who suffered severe head trauma from a beating outside a bar, decides to build a a one-sixth scale WWII-era town called Marwencol in his backyard. He does this in order to help build up his hand-eye coordination and therapeutically recover from the psychological demons he still has from the beating.

The docu was a critical hit and went on to win several awards including Boston Society of Film Critics and SXSW best documentary awards.

Vice president of production Maradith Frenkel and creative executive Chloe Yellin will oversee the project on behalf of Universal.

Zemeckis’ 2012 drama “Flight” was also based on a real-life story.

Zemeckis is currently negotiating a deal to direct Lionsgate’s “Chaos Walking,” but this “Marwencol” may be more likely to be his next pic, given the effort to land a high-profile actor to play the lead. While no offers have been delivered, sources say Zemeckis’ top choice to play Hogancamp is Leonardo DiCaprio.

But DiCaprio is currently weighing several offers that include Warner Bros. “The Brotherhoods” and an untitled “Napoleon” biopic and has not chosen his next pic, so that element is still far away from being a reality.

The trailer for the original documentary can viewed below.

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  1. spassky says:

    A truly beautiful documentary with a nice surprise — but I really can’t see Zemeckis pulling this off without a major actor doing some serious character work (like Denzel in ‘Flight,’ which really was a total flat tire without him)

  2. the doc looks great. This could be a great adaptation. can’t wait.

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