Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

In the Works: Robert Zemeckis to Direct 'Marwencol,' Based on Terrific 2010 Documentary (TRAILER)

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood October 25, 2013 at 2:19PM

Fascinating news today from director Robert Zemeckis. He's on board to helm a new drama based on Jeff Malmberg's stunning 2010 documentary "Marwencol." The doc is centered on one Mark Hogancamp, who dealt with the trauma of being beaten up by a group of teenagers -- and his complete memory loss, as a result -- in a very unique way. Hogancamp built a one-sixth scale model of a World War II-era Belgian village, populated by action figurines.
0
Jeff Malmberg's "Marwencol"
Jeff Malmberg's "Marwencol"

Fascinating news today from director Robert Zemeckis. He's on board to helm a new drama based on Jeff Malmberg's stunning 2010 documentary "Marwencol." The doc is centered on one Mark Hogancamp, who dealt with the trauma of being beaten up by a group of teenagers -- and his complete memory loss, as a result -- in a very unique way. Hogancamp built a one-sixth scale model of a World War II-era Belgian village, populated by action figurines. 

In the doc, Hogancamp is eventually courted by the New York art scene, which he meets with both interest and intense reservations.

Robert Zemeckis
Robert Zemeckis

The Universal project currently has a script by Caroline Thompson, who co-wrote Tim Burton's "Edward Scissorhands," "The Nightmare Before Christmas," and the adaptation of Agnieszka Holland's gorgeous 1993 version of "The Secret Garden."

Word is, Zemeckis ("Forrest Gump") is hoping to cast Leonardo DiCaprio as Hogancamp. 

Zemeckis was able to come back from 2011's hugely disappointing animated flop "Mars Needs Moms" ($150 million budget, and only $21 million domestic haul) with 2012's modestly budgeted and well-reviewed live-action drama "Flight" ($31 million budget, $93 million domestic haul), starring box-office reliable Denzel Washington. That film was Oscar-nominated for Best Original Screenplay and Actor, but didn't really take off as a major awards contender. The "Mars" flop did however cost Zemeckis an ultra-rich Disney deal and forced him to back off of his company's pursuit of "performance capture" ("Polar Express," "Beowulf," "A Christmas Carol") which has been outshone by the likes of James Cameron et al. Zemeckis swiftly signed a rich deal at Universal studios. 

If you haven't seen "Marwencol," get on that. It's terrific. (And it's streaming on Netflix.) Here's the trailer:

This article is related to: News, Documentary, Documentaries, Robert Zemeckis


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.