Fox asking ‘Apollo’ scribe to take a dive

No producer is yet attached to historical adaptation

Screenwriter William Broyles Jr. (“Apollo 13”) is in negotiations with Fox 2000 Pictures to adapt Robert Kurson book “Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Discovered Hitler’s Lost Sub” into a feature film.

In June, Fox 2000 plunked down $500,000 against $1.5 million to acquire the Esquire scribe’s historical deep sea adventure book.

No producer is yet attached.

Published by Random House, “Shadow” follows the exploits of two wreck divers who in 1991 discovered a sunken German U boat resting deep but alarmingly close to the New Jersey shoreline. The two men, John Chatterton and Rich Kohler, dove to depths approaching 230 feet — the limits of human endurance — to solve the mystery of how it wound up there. Both suffered great losses in the course of solving the mystery: One saw his marriage ruined, while both lost several friends who died exploring the wreck.

Broyles, a former pilot in Vietnam and a Newsweek journo, has penned four of his past five scripts for Fox: 2002’s “Unfaithful,” 2001’s “Planet of the Apes,” 2000’s “Cast Away” and 1999’s “Entrapment.”

Warner Bros. and Steve Bing’s Shangri-La are currently producing Broyles’ most recent script, “The Polar Express.” The $160 million CGI epic is based on the Chris Van Allsburg children’s book of the same name, and Broyles’ hiring to adapt it stemmed from his previous relationship with “Cast Away” topliner and “Polar” producer Tom Hanks.

Fox 2000 exec Rodney Ferrell oversees “Shadow” for topper Elizabeth Gabler.

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