James Bobin © Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock
The history of World War II has consistently provided the kind of deep-rooted, high-intensity fodder necessary to make so many award-winning films over the past couple decades, specifically as focused on the Nazi piece of the story: from 1993′s “Schindler’s List” to 1997′s “Life Is Beautiful,” to 2008′s “The Reader” and 2009′s “Inglourious Basterds.” And the trend appears to be continuing with “In the Garden of Beasts,” based on Erik Larson’s bestseller, planned for 2014. And now comes news that Agent Zigzag, Ben Macintyre’s acclaimed account of WWII double agent Eddie Chapman, is finally picking up speed after its pickup in 2009 by Playtone.
Ladies and gentleman, we have a director. James Bobin is now part of the “Zigzag” team, comprised of Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman. He has signed on to direct the film for Playtone and New Line. Though Bobin’s previous work has showcased the lighter side of his talents — he directed “The Muppets” and has writing credits from multiple episodes of “The Flight of the Conchords” and “Da Ali G Show” — his eleven primetime Emmy nominations are indicative of the depth of his talent.
Though the development of this project is now moving forward, and though this latest hiring news thrills us, what we’re really looking forward to is the casting. During a war in which sneezing the wrong way could get one killed, Eddie Chapman led a double-life of deception, working as both a Nazi and for the British government. We’re chomping at the bit to get wind of any role news as it’s going to take a special man to take on this role.