Jake Gyllenhaal to Play War Hero in ‘Combat Control,’ MGM Nears Deal for Sam Hargrave-Directed Film

Ethan Shanfeld
·2-min read

MGM is in negotiations to acquire “Combat Control,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by Sam Hargrave (“Extraction”).

Hargrave and Shelby Malone will serve as associate producers alongside executive producers Gyllenhaal and Ryan Cassells.

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The Hideaway Entertainment president Matthew Rhodes, CEO Jonathan Gray and VP Kristy Grisham will produce and co-finance the project. Rhodes, who formerly led Bold Films, worked with Gyllenhaal on 2014’s “Nightcrawler.”

“Combat Control” is based on the New York Times bestseller “Alone at Dawn,” a true story about American war veteran John Chapman (to be played by Gyllenhaal), written by Dan Schilling and Lori Chapman Longfritz. Michael Russell Gunn (“Billions”) penned the screenplay. Ron West of Thruline Entertainment will also produce. West brought the manuscript of the book to Hideaway Entertainment before the book was published, and Hideaway optioned the property amid a heated bidding war.

The film will follow the story of Chapman, an Air Force Combat Control Technician (CCT) who died in battle during the War in Afghanistan. There were no eyewitnesses to his actions and the top-secret world surrounding covert military operations. Air Force Captain Cora Alexander was tasked with the nearly impossible task of investigating what happened to Chapman and proving that he was a worthy recipient of a Medal of Honor. In uncovering the truth and revealing Chapman’s sacrifice, she embarks on her own journey toward self-forgiveness and personal redemption. Chapman was awarded a Medal of Honor in 2018, becoming the first CCT in U.S. history to receive the military’s highest accolade.

Author Schilling was a CCT, like Chapman, and will serve as a military consultant on the film. Producers are still searching for an actor to play the female co-lead Alexander.

Endeavor Content handled the sale to MGM, with lawyer Christian Simonds of Reed Smith negotiating on behalf of Hideaway. Hargrave and Gyllenhaal are represented by WME and attorney Carlos Goodman.

Deadline first reported the news.

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