Director David Ayer has already worked predominantly with tanks before on the 2014 movie Fury. He must have had a hell of a time, as he’s gearing up to direct a new tank battle movie titled El-Alamein for Lionsgate.
The film is based on the true story of the 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 in WWII, both fought in 1942. They occurred in and around an area named after a railway stop called El Alamein in Egypt, fought in pursuit of control of the Suez Canal.
David Self has written the original screenplay, although James Coyne has reportedly penned the most recent draft. Lionsgate executive James Myers will oversee the project, and production is expected to begin early next year.
At the time of Fury, Ayer’s career had a very positive trajectory. That film got solid enough reviews, and he had previously helmed the well-received cop drama End Of Watch. However since then he’s directed Suicide Squad and Bright, two movies that have gotten lousy receptions. Perhaps that’s why he’s returning to a tank-based war thriller, in the hope of recapturing the magic.
That film starred Brad Pitt, and word is that Lionsgate is aiming to secure another big star considering the scope of the project. Ayer is already reteaming with another Fury star, Shia LaBeouf, on his upcoming crime drama The Tax Collector, so maybe he’s in play. Although Lionsgate probably want a bigger name more akin to Pitt.
We’ll wait and see regarding casting. Hopefully Ayer can get back on his feet creatively. The Tax Collector doesn’t currently have a release date, but shooting finished in August 2018, so it can’t be too far away.