Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Ed Zwick is in talks to helm Pawn Sacrifice, the drama that will star Tobey Maguire as troubled chess wiz Bobby Fischer, the prodigy who captured who captured the world’s imagination when he won the World Chess Championship over Russian Boris Spassky in a Cold War-era match that drew international media attention. Fischer had a rougher time after that as he straddled the line between genius and madness. He faded from view, living abroad and surfacing to make anti-American and anti-Semitic statements. He lived in exile in Iceland until he died.

Maguire is producing through his Material Pictures banner with Gail Katz through Gail Katz Productions. Steven Knight wrote the script. Zwick replaces David Fincher, who had developed to direct the film. Zwick had been expected to direct The Great Wall for Legendary East, a project that is somewhat up in the air as a new backer in Asia is being secured. The film is being prepped to begin production next  year, and Maguire’s Material partner Matt Plouffe is shepherding. Zwick is repped by CAA. Maguire is filming Jason Reitman’s Labor Day, and stars in the Baz Luhrmann-directed The Great Gatsby next summer. He’s repped by WME and Management 360.