Thursday, August 16, 2012

Toby Maguire to Play Bobby Fischer in Upcoming Movie

Toby Maguire will be playing Bobby Fischer in an upcoming movie.  It will be interesting to see if they portray Fischer's involvement with Armstrongism.  The Worldwide Church of God used this guy and exploited him for all they could get out of him.  The more money he gave the better they liked him.

I wonder if the movie producers realize that the very buildings that Fischer played chess in are now vacant and can be used for the film.  It would certainly add more authenticity to it all.

Given the numerous articles and books that tell the story of Fischer's involvement with Armstrongism and if the movie producers us it, the church will not be portrayed in a positive light.

Tobey Maguire To Star As Troubled Chess Prodigy Bobby Fischer, But Who Was He Really? 

The movie will look at Fischer's career in the 60's (which started at the age of 13) through the '72 match from a script by Steven Knight ("Eastern Promises"). Spassky was the Soviet Chess champion twice while Fischer was the youngest grandmaster at the age of 15 1/2, and would be going head-to-head with a player six years his senior. I can almost see the sports movie trajectory it could take, "Miracle" on a chess board (although Fischer had a pretty flawless win record, so a montage of him always being good at chess might be a bit of a drag).

It's Fischer's life after the win that's ripe for exploration. He stopped defending his chess title officially after a dispute with the World Chess Federation in '75, and later got in trouble with the IRS over unpaid taxes from his winnings in a '92 rematch against Spassky. Here's where it gets rocky: Fischer, a Chicago native, never returned home to the States, living as an expatriate in Hungary, the Philipines, and Germany, among other countries while becoming increasingly prickly and reclusive.

What Zwick and Knight will be missing out on in confining the story to the '72 match is the impact the sudden rush of fame and success had on Fischer and how it effectively broke him in later years. In the few interviews you can find with him in his later years, he not only becomes critical of his home country but outright anti-American, and laced through all of that is a weird strain of anti-Semitism (he actually disavowed his own Jewish roots at one time, and you can read an interview where he discusses discovering the doomsday evangelical sect the Worldwide Church of God here).


Allen C. Dexter said...

Bobby was a sad case. I never met him personally. He came around about the time I was well on my way out. His life was unbalanced and he was easy pickings for Herb and his henchmen. Sad. Really sad.

Anonymous said...

Who will play HWA or GTA? Clooney, will George Clooney be in it?

Anonymous said...

Philip Symore Hoffman would make a great HWA. Hoffman is already playing another cult leader L Ron Hubbard in a new movie The Master, that is about the Scientology cult.

Anonymous said...

GTA will be played by Glenn Beck, and HWA will alternately be played by the Michelen Man.
and Poppin' Fresh.

the Pillsbury Dough Boy

Pam Dewey said...

Because of my Field Guide to the Wild World of Religion's extensive overview of aspects of the old WCG (, I was contacted a few years back by an Atlantic Monthly magazine author. He'd written a biographical sketch on Fischer for the magazine, and had decided to expand the material into a full-length biography. He was vaguely aware of Bobby's connection with the WCG, but had noted no other biographers had ever delved into it more than a brief mention in passing. By the time he had contacted me, Bobby had gotten totally weird, and the author wondered if his experiences in the WCG had anything to do with it. :-) But after doing a lot of websearching, and trying to get interviews with some of the Big Players in the WCG from the past, he discovered no one would talk to him. He was thrilled to find I would. So I had a few phone calls with him in which he picked my brain about what life was like in the WCG back in the day, what about it all might have contributed to Bobby's various manias, and so on. I didn't have a lot of information on details of Bobby's sojourn at Pasadena itself, other than that he had lived for a time in the basement of the Mokarow's home, and Art's wife had been sort of a "chess mom" to him, trying to make sure he ate right and fending off interviewers and such. But I'm pretty good at painting a picture of that era of the org. (We were in WCG from 1968-78.) I hadn't thought about those calls in quite some time. I don't know if the author ever got around to finishing his bio or not.

Byker Bob said...

Actually, Sorrel Booke, the dude who played Boss Hogg on the Dukes of Hazzard would have been my first choice as HWA, but unfortunately, he's no longer with us!


Anonymous said...

Terence Stamp from "Yes Man" would make a good HWA, and Charlie Sheen would make a good GTA.

Anonymous said...

velgina 13Bobby's story is a sad one, indeed. People with high intelligence quotients are far from immune to falling under the influence of(and being harmed by) destructive cults.
In fact, it bothers me when I hear people making statements like, "I fell for HWA's crap because I was stupid."

Bobby came to our home for dinner, once. I was a kid then, and don't remember if it was before or after his televised match with Boris Spassky. He was passing through our area, and apparently some minister(s?) involved thought my father's zeal for the church would make our home a good place to schedule a dinner for him.
His visit to our home was anticlimactic at best, though. He hardly said a thing, seemed so moody and low key as to border on depression, and only took a few bites of his food.

What's interesting is how my father so enthusiastically believed he saw "God's hand" in "calling" Bobby Fischer. My dad was SO talking about how God was using this famous person to spread the "Truth" in "mighty ways" to "all the world", and that God might soon be calling others who had fame to also spread the "Truth" (Mind you, this was in an era when, church-wise, much was being made of HWA meeting with dignitaries, and WCG talk was rampant about how the "Truth" would spread because of that.)

This reminds me of the approach that some some nutty mainstream rabid Christians had, only a couple of years back, about "revival about to happen" in the USA, where the "prophecies" of some preachers got some kooky mainstream Christians all excited about claims like someone here wrote about that was supposed to be a revival to happen all along a highway corridor that ran from the southern to northern USA.
Of course, it never happened, and was just more BS from rabid mainstream "Holy Spirit" Christians, just like the BS from rabid "WCG" Christians was.