U.S. aid worker Fred Cuny is having his life turned into a major motion picture. According to Variety, Element Films and Spitfire Pictures have acquired the rights to both the book and the documentary that tell the man's story.

Scott Anderson's book The Man Who Tried to Save the World will be the basis for the film. Collateral's Stuart Beattie will write the screenplay once the writers' strike is resolved. The biopic 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 1995, and is believed to have been murdered in Chechnya.

Producer Nigel Sinclair stated, "I have been involved with Fred Cuny's story for many years, thanks to David Fanning and 'Frontline'. When Stuart called me out of the blue, saying he had been independently pursuing a story on Fred's life, I knew we had found the perfect creative partner."

Production will not commence on the film until after the writers' strike ends.

B. Alan Orange