MGM has tapped Alfonso Cuaron to direct “Hart’s War,” to be produced by David Foster and David Ladd.
Cuaron will now team with Terry George to rewrite the screenplay. George penned Jim Sheridan’s “In the Name of the Father.”
“Alfonso sleeps and dreams film,” Foster said. “We’d been talking for more than a year and he told me he wanted to do something tough, strong and with some action. His last couple of films had been a little soft.”
Previously titled “Grant’s War,” the pic is based on John Katzenbach’s novel inspired by the prisoner-of-war exploits of his father, Nicholas Katzenbach, who later became U.S. attorney general under President Lyndon B. Johnson.
In the movie, 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 lensed 1998’s “Great Expectations” with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke and the critically acclaimed “A Little Princess” in 1995. He made his feature helming debut on the Spanish-language pic “Love in the Time of Hysteria.” While Cuaron also is in talks with New Regency to helm “Runaway Jury” (Daily Variety, Sept. 2), no deal had been finalized.
Cuaron is repped by Endeavor.
Reached by phone in Gotham, Cuaron called the pic “a coming-of-age piece in a difficult context of moral ambiguity.”
Hart “comes out of this cocoon and finds himself in a situation where he has to act,” Cuaron added.
The producers plan to cast “Hart’s War” in a few weeks and start shooting by February.
Jeb Stuart (“The Fugitive”) penned the original screenplay adaptation.
Foster said he explored Cuaron’s past work while on location in Mexico producing “The Mask of Zorro,” while Ladd said he is undaunted by the lack of war or action films on Cuaron’s resume.
“What makes it exciting for us is he brings a certain freshness,” he said.