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Kevin Macdonald's first feature, The Last King of Scotland, got an Oscar for its lead actor Forest Whitaker, and now Macdonald is translating that immediate success into more projects. He's already hard at work on Universal's adaptation of the British miniseries State of Play and now Variety is reporting that he will direct Bobby Fischer Goes to War, a drama about the American chess champion.

Fischer, who died two weeks ago, was a teenage sensation when he became a chess grandmaster at the age of 15. His huge accomplishment though, came in 1972 when he defeated Russian chess champion Boris Spassky. He was the first, and to this day only, American to be named the World Chess Champion. The match took place at the height of the Cold War, and Fischer was seen as an American hero for beating a Russian at a game the Soviets had dominated since before World War II.

Of course, later in life Fischer became known as an eccentric and an anti-Semite, frequently going on anti-Jewish tirades (though he himself was Jewish) and calling into a Philippines-based radio station on 9/11 to celebrate the attacks and express hopes that all the Jews in America would be killed. Yeah, nice guy, right? Macdonald's movie will apparently focus only on the match against Spassky, though I imagine he'll have to address the anti-Semitism in order to avoid serious controversy. But Fischer is a fascinating American figure, a hero for many years who later completely shunned his country. Given that the main character in Macdonald's Last King of Scotland was a murderous dictator, he's proven he can take on controversial but fascinating figures. I'm excited to see what he can do with this highly unusual story.