Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bobby Fischer: Ask and ye shall receive

After his death earlier this month, I wondered aloud why no one had ever made a biopic of chess champion Bobby Fischer. Certainly his enigmatic character, his vile side, and his chess genius made him a natural subject. His opponent at the World Chess Championship, Boris Spassky, was a relatively outspoken Russian and a near dissident who might have been in the gulag if his chess hadn't made him a prominent hero of the Soviet state. Their clash was a high-profile Cold War episode, surrounded by intrigue, suspicions of bizarre plots, Fischer's wild antics, and world power. Then you have Fischer's post-match vanishing act and decades of insane anti-US, anti-semitic ramblings. That doesn't even account for the life of Fischer's mother, a devout fellow traveler monitored by the FBI. A lot of great material.

Well, apparently this is the blog that gets deals done. Universal Pictures has announced it will produce Bobby Fischer Goes to War, an adaptation of a fascinating book about the Fischer-Spassky match by David Edmonds and John Eidinow. They've tapped Kevin MacDonald to direct. Great choice. Damn near perfect. He's a very good director with a strong taste for 1970s Cold War political dramas - The Last King of Scotland and One Day in September, about Idi Amin and Munich, respectively. He should do a great job.

I'm thinking Sam Riley for Fischer, although with MacDonald on board, it could be James McAvoy. Spassky, that I have not yet figured out.

Couldn't be more excited about this.

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