Twentieth Century Fox is attempting to raise from the archives Robert Aldrich’s 1965 survival thriller “The Flight of the Phoenix.” Tom Rothman’s Fox film division has struck a deal to develop a remake of the film to be produced by the helmer’s son, William Aldrich, and John Davis.
Jim and John Thomas — the sibling duo who scripted “Behind Enemy Lines” for Fox — are in final talks to pen the remake.
The original film, an adaptation of the novel by Elleston Trevor, was a gritty tale of a small group of men whose plane crashes during a sandstorm in the North African desert, and their desperate efforts to build a single-engine plane out of the wreckage of their twin-engine job.
Stewart in original
Pic was highlighted by performances by James Stewart (as the pilot of a desert oil company cargo-passenger plane who flies by the seat of his pants), Richard Attenborough, Hardy Kruger, Ernest Borgnine, Peter Finch and Ian Bannen (who earned a best supporting actor Oscar nomination for his role).
While Fox originally distributed the film, the studio had to negotiate the remake deal with the Aldrich estate, which co-owned the rights. Aldrich pere — who died in 1983 — also produced “Flight of the Phoenix,” in association with his company, Associates & Aldrich.
The Thomas sibs earlier adapted for UA another Trevor book, “Quiller Solitaire” — which the author penned under his oft-used pseudonym, Adam Hall. The duo is repped by Endeavor.