I doubt Stuart Beattie enjoys being referred to as "G.I. Joe Screenwriter", but for the amount of coin he’s pulling down to re-imagine the toy line as a "Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity", Mr. Seven Figures can take a little ribbing.
Like many screenwriters who fatten their bank accounts on studio junk, Beattie is apparently a very thoughtful guy who’s getting comfortable now so that he can write a bunch of serious-minded projects that’ll struggle to secure financing later. But thanks to his invaluable contributions to the first Pirates of the Caribbean and a bunch of other uncredited tinkering, Beattie is "hot" at the moment, so there’s a very good possibility that his script about the life of disaster relief specialist Fred Cuny might just happen.
And it sounds like a fairly interesting story. Cuny was a charismatic civil engineer from Texas who ultimately wound up applying his expertise in war zones where innocent civilians were being put at risk. Cuny, who apparently had a penchant for lying about his past, went missing in 1995 while attempting to negotiate a cease fire in Chechnya – the same year he was named a MacArthur Fellow.
Beattie’s screenplay – to be written post-strike – will draw from Scott Anderson’s 2000 tome, The Man Who Tried to Save the World, and a PBS Frontline documentary titled "The Lost American". The untitled feature will be produced by Element Films and Spitfire Pictures, but, again, it won’t get anywhere until the strike is finished.