Stuart Beattie to Pen Fred Cuny Biopic


Element Films and Spitfire Pictures will turn the life and death of U.S. aid worker Fred Cuny into a feature film, reports Variety. The companies have acquired “The Man Who Tried to Save the World,” a book by Scott Anderson (“Spring Break in Bosnia”), as well as rights to 1997 “Frontline” documentary “The Lost American.”

Stuart Beattie (Collateral) will write the screenplay once the writers strike is resolved.

The film will focus on the death-defying disaster-relief exploits of Cuny, a Texan who became known as the Master of Disaster for his accomplishments in unstable places like Iraq, Ethiopia, Somalia, Bosnia and Chechnya. He went missing in Chechnya in 1995 as he tried to negotiate a ceasefire. It is believed that he was murdered there.

Beattie, whose last scripting credit came on the horror hit 30 Days of Night, completed a rewrite of G.I. Joe just before the writers strike that prompted Paramount to schedule an early 2008 start date. He’s scripting Bra Boys, a feature that Russell Crowe will direct, based on the documentary.