David Ayer sure must love tanks, because the Fury filmmaker in negotiations to direct yet another tank battle movie titled El-Alamein for Lionsgate, Collider has confirmed.
David Self wrote the original screenplay, though James Coyne penned the most recent draft. El-Alamein is based on the true story of the epic battles between German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel and Britain’s Eighty Army in North Africa, led by Bernard Montgomery.
There were actually two battles of El Alamein during WWII, both of which were fought in 1942. The bloody battles occurred in North Africa, in Egypt, in and around an area named after a railway stop called El Alamein, and were fought in pursuit of control of the Suez Canal. They were previously dramatized in a 1969 Italian-French co-production titled The Battle of El Alamein, which focused on the second battle, and starred Robert Hossein and Michael Rennie as Rommel and Montgomery, respectively.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian are producing for Di Bonaventura Pictures along with Thomas Augsberger, and production is expected to begin early next year. Lionsgate executive James Myers will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.
There’s no word on casting yet, but given the scope of this movie, I imagine Lionsgate will push Ayer to cast a major star, a la Brad Pitt in Fury, which was actually pretty good. I’m not sure why Ayer would want to repeat himself, but I can see why the studio would turn to him given his track record filming epic tank battles.
Ayer, of course, is coming off of the critically reviled movies Bright and Suicide Squad, though I eagerly await his gritty crime drama The Tax Collector, which stars a tatted-up Shia LaBeouf, who co-starred in Fury. Ayer, who is also attached to direct Netflix’s planned sequel to Bright, is represented by WME, while Coyne is repped by Kaplan/Perrone. The El-Alamein news was first reported by Deadline.