Mike Fleming

Here’s something you don’t often see, producer Jerry Bruckheimer out pitching a movie package. I’m told the Disney-based producer has been out this week with a pitch for Horse Soldiers, an adaptation of the Doug Stanton book that has a Ted Tally script rewritten by Peter Craig, and Nicolai Fuglsig attached to direct. Disney bought the book for Bruckheimer back in 2009. The true story revolves around 12 elite special forces soldiers and CIA operatives who secretly invaded Afghanistan after 9/11. They arrived on horses and helped Afghan fighters capture the city of Mazar-i-Sharif and topple the Taliban. The project has the same level of warfare evident in the Bruckheimer-produced Black Hawk Down, which got made by Sony and Revolution. It’s not the first Bruckheimer project that Disney jettisoned because it didn’t fit Rich Ross’s family film mandate. In June, 2010, Disney put in turnaround an adaptation of the Steven Pressfield historical novel Killing Rommel, after several drafts were written by Randall Wallace and Pressfield, best known for writing Gates of Fire and The Legend of Bagger Vance. Bruckheimer expected to continue that project, which chronicles the daring attempt by a British battalion to capture German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, at a time when his Panzer tanks were overrunning the North African desert and driving Winston Churchill crazy in WWII. Bruckheimer ultimately gave up on that one, never getting the script quite right. The rights are now available.

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