Daisy Ridley is already in talks, and we’re now hearing that Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg, and Joe Wright are being discussed as possible directors for a package that’s being built around a spec out from Paradigm and Madhouse Entertainment.
The package is for the red hot new spec script AMERICAN REBEL, written by Christopher Cosmos, which tells the true-life story of Deborah Sampson, a young woman who disguised herself as a man to serve in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Under the name Robert Shurtleff of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, she performed military duty for 17 months and was wounded in 1782. She attended to some of her wounds herself to avoid her secret being revealed. In spring of 1783, she was promoted and in that same summer, her gender was discovered by a doctor but he didn’t let slip her secret until the war was over. While other women who were discovered were reprimanded, Sampson received an honorable discharge at West Point on October 25, 1783.
Ridley, who will next be heard in the documentary The Eagle Huntress, which she’s also executive producing, and is attached to star in the upcoming Kolma from director Marielle Heller, re-teaming her with J.J. Abrams, and Lionsgate’s upcoming Chaos Walking, which Zemeckis was previously attached to direct, as well as Marc Forster’s upcoming The Lost Wife, has been on most every studio short list since her breakout role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and as such was the first to get script, as it started hitting the town earlier this week. With Ridley entering talks to board the package, all eyes turned to directors.
The three interested directors are all veterans in the industry and have experience bringing to life historical stories on the big screen. Zemeckis has the upcoming Allied, a World War II movie with Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, as well as Forrest Gump. Meanwhile, Spielberg and Wright have both received critical acclaim for their period films such as Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan for Spielberg and Atonement and Pride & Prejudice for Wright.
Cosmos is producing Universal’s upcoming Elizabeth Banks directed Red Queen and he is also working on the adaptations for Red Sonja and Langley High. He previously appeared on the 2012 Hit List.