Fincher soldiers on to direct ‘Alone’

WWII tale follows the plight of heroic Col. Fertig

David Fincher is in serious conversations to helm “They Fought Alone” for Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher’s Sony-based Red Wagon Prods.

The original screenplay from playwright and screenwriter William Nicholson has caught a number of A-listers’ interest since it was delivered to Col earlier this year, most notably Tom Cruise.

“They Fought Alone,” which is also known as “Fertig,” is based on the real-life events of Col. Wendell Fertig. An American soldier in the Philippines, he became a pivotal figure in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

Described by insiders as a heroic saga of a man’s relentless pursuit of victory in the face of daunting odds, it follows Fertig and a ragtag team of U.S. soldiers as they recruit and mass a guerrilla movement.

Fertig and his men harassed the Japanese so thoroughly that the imperials could not ultimately control the island by the time Gen. Douglas MacArthur made his so famously promised return.

Pic would not likely begin production until well past next summer.

Nicholson most recently directed “Firelight” for Miramax and co-wrote Red Wagon’s “Gladiator,” which has grossed $180 million domestically.

Col exec veepee Doug Belgrad and director of development Rachel O’Connor will supervise the production of “Fertig” for the studio.

Columbia execs were not available for comment. Calls placed to Red Wagon principals were not returned.

Fincher is repped by CAA.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Fiddler A Miracle of Miracles

    Film Review: 'Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles'

    Still beloved and routinely revived 55 years after its Broadway debut — including a Yiddish-language version now playing in New York — “Fiddler on the Roof” is a popular phenomenon that shows no sign of subsiding. Max Lewkowicz’s “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” provides an entertaining if hardly exhaustive overview of how the unlikely success [...]

  • 'Weathering With You' Heads for $100

    'Weathering With You' Heads for $100 Million Box Office Haul

    Makoto Shinkai’s animated romantic drama “Weathering with You” passed the JPY10 billion ($94 million) mark in Japan on Wednesday, according to an announcement by distributor Toho. This makes it the tenth-highest earning Japanese film of all time. Since its release on July 19 on 448 screens in 359 complexes, the film has racked up 7.52 million admissions. The [...]

  • Burn review

    Film Review: 'Burn'

    There’s more smoke than fire in “Burn,” a reasonably promising single-location thriller that never quite settles on what it wants to be — a straight-up suspense piece, twisty black comedy, oddball character study, etc. “All the above” would be a tall but not impossible order to pull off. The problem is that writer-director Mike Gan’s [...]

  • Rounds

    Sarajevo Film Review: 'Rounds'

    Five features (plus a scattering of documentaries) into his career, leading Bulgarian writer-director Stephan Komandarev has resisted cultivating a clear thematic or stylistic throughline to his oeuvre. Yet his latest, the overnight police patchwork “Rounds,” feels surprisingly close to quintessential, pulling as it does plot points, structural models and tonal switches from his previous films [...]

  • Travis ScottWireless Festival, Finsbury Park, London,

    Travis Scott Surprises Fans With Netflix Documentary Reveal, Pop-Up in Houston

    Travis Scott just revealed his new Netflix documentary in the most organic way possible: a social media post to his 18.5 million followers on Instagram. The photo consisted of him holding a series of VHS tapes, which turns out to be the trailer for his forthcoming documentary on Netflix titled “Look Mom I Can Fly.” [...]

  • Overcomer

    Film Review: 'Overcomer'

    No matter the setting or circumstances, the solution to every dilemma found in Christian Evangelical films is getting closer to God. That certainly holds true with regards to “Overcomer,” the latest bit of bigscreen proselytizing by writer-director-star Alex Kendrick (“War Room,” “Courageous”). The story of a high school basketball coach who’s forced to take over [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Inside the Spider-Man Split: Finger-Pointing and Executive Endgames

    Spider-Man’s neighborhood has been decidedly unfriendly this week. A private and contentious battle over the onscreen future of the beloved Marvel superhero has spilled out into the public square over the past few days. After making nice for two wildly successful films, Sony Pictures, which holds the licensing rights to the Marvel character, will go [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content