‘Patriot’ pair enlist in war story

Noyce, Neufeld team up for WWII tale of heroic siblings

In their first team-up since the Jack Ryan films “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger,” director Phillip Noyce and producer Mace Neufeld have made a deal with Warner Independent Pictures and Cherry Road Films on “The Bielski Brothers.”

Story concerns three Jewish brothers who heroically hid 1,250 Jews from the Nazis in a forest outside Belarus during WWII.

Kathleen McLaughlin is writing the script, and Noyce will direct and produce with Neufeld and Cherry Road’s Jonas Goodman. WIP president Mark Gill will oversee the project with Cherry Road’s Bo Hyde and Kendall Morgan.

Project is based on a bestseller by Peter Duffy, who confirmed what was thought to be merely legend by tracking down the two surviving brothers who spearheaded the largest armed rescue of Jews by Jews during WWII.

“We both felt that it was an incredible adventure story and not a Holocaust tale,” Neufeld said. “They built a real village and a guerrilla group that saved a lot of lives. It is one of the great unknown stories of the war.”

Book was first set up as a movie at Miramax, and Cherry Road swooped in when the rights became available. Neufeld and Noyce sparked to it and took it to WIP’s Gill because Noyce developed a good relationship with him during the making of “Rabbit-Proof Fence.”