×

Robert Zemeckis Boards Film Based on Documentary ‘Marwencol’ at Universal

Production will recruit high-profile actor for lead

Robert Zemeckis has attached himself to direct Universal’s “Marwencol,” a real-life drama based on the 2010 documentary.

Universal optioned Mark Hogancamp’s life rights and the documentary based on Hogancamp’s story.

ImageMovers will produce under its Universal-based banner. Director of the 2010 documentary Jeff Malmberg will executive produce.

Caroline Thompson is penning the script.

The documentary revolved around Hogancamp, who suffered severe head trauma from a beating outside a bar, decides to build a a one-sixth scale WWII-era town called Marwencol in his backyard. He does this in order to help build up his hand-eye coordination and therapeutically recover from the psychological demons he still has from the beating.

The docu was a critical hit and went on to win several awards including Boston Society of Film Critics and SXSW best documentary awards.

Vice president of production Maradith Frenkel and creative executive Chloe Yellin will oversee the project on behalf of Universal.

Zemeckis’ 2012 drama “Flight” was also based on a real-life story.

Zemeckis is currently negotiating a deal to direct Lionsgate’s “Chaos Walking,” but this “Marwencol” may be more likely to be his next pic, given the effort to land a high-profile actor to play the lead. While no offers have been delivered, sources say Zemeckis’ top choice to play Hogancamp is Leonardo DiCaprio.

But DiCaprio is currently weighing several offers that include Warner Bros. “The Brotherhoods” and an untitled “Napoleon” biopic and has not chosen his next pic, so that element is still far away from being a reality.

The trailer for the original documentary can viewed below.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Incitement

    'Incitement' Wins Ophir Award for Best Picture, Becomes Israel's Oscar Submission

    “Incitement” was the best-picture winner at Israel’s Ophir Awards on Sunday night, automatically becoming the country’s choice to vie for the international feature film Oscar. The winning film, a drama about the period leading up to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish extremist in 1995, had its global premiere at [...]

  • LargoAI

    LargoAI Wins Inaugural San Sebastian Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Swiss artificial intelligence and data analytics company LargoAI won Sunday’s first-ever San Sebastian Film Festival Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge. LargoAI’s software provides data-driven filmmaking strategies, similar to those used by major VOD platforms which aggregate and often horde their own user-driven data. From early in the screenwriting process through development and [...]

  • MARIANA-RONDÓN-MARITÉ-UGÁS

    FiGa Snags 'Contactado,' By The Team Behind San Sebastian Winner 'Pelo Malo' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sandro Fiorin’s FiGa Films has picked up worldwide sales rights to “Contactado,” the upcoming feature by Sudaca Films’ Marité Ugás and Mariana Rondón, the duo behind San Sebastian 2013 Golden Shell winner, “Pelo Malo.” The Sudaca partners are attending San Sebastian to pitch Rondón-helmed project “Zafari” at the 8th Europe-Latin American Co-production Forum. Directed by [...]

  • Brad Pitt stars in “Ad Astra”.

    'Ad Astra' Lifts Above Competition at International Box Office With $26 Million

    Though “Ad Astra” was overthrown by the Crawley family at the domestic box office, Brad Pitt’s astronaut drama reigned supreme at the international box office. Directed by James Gray, “Ad Astra” launched overseas with $26 million from 44 foreign markets. The $80 million sci-fi epic debuted in North America with $19.2 million, bringing global box [...]

  • hugh jackman tiff bad education

    Toronto's Biggest Deal Goes to HBO: A Sign of the Future? (Column)

    When it comes to how we’ll be watching movies — or, at least, watching serious dramas for adults — in the future, here are two stark and timely contradictory facts: 1. Last week, as the Toronto International Film Festival drew to a close, a deal that had been in the rumor stage for a while [...]

  • 'Talking About Trees' Helmer Suhaib Gasmelbari

    'Talking About Trees' Director Suhaib Gasmelbari Receives Variety MENA Award

    Suhaib Gasmelbari, whose Sudanese documentary “Talking About Trees” premiered in the Berlinale’s Panorama section, received the Variety Middle East and North Africa Region Talent Award Saturday at the El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt from festival director Intishal Al Timimi. Variety critic Jay Weissberg, who selected the honoree, said that it is not usual that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content