Since his earliest victories as a teenager in the 1950s, Bobby Fischer’s name has been instantly recognizable not just within the world of chess playing but across popular culture. Oddly enough, the first biopic for Fischer will be released this September 18th in the form of Edward Zwick’s Pawn Sacrifice. The film builds tension around the politically charged chess match between American champion Fischer and the U.S.S.R.’s equivalent, Boris Spassky, but as a new featurette shows, the biopic does not shy away from Fischer’s volatile personality.
Pawn Sacrifice stars Tobey Maguire as Fischer, and if this early look is any indication, he turns in a fascinating performance as the gifted, yet troubled chess-master. Liev Schreiber plays Spassky, the intimidating World Champion. Maguire and Schreiber share their insights on Fischer in this new featurette, alongside Peter Sarsgaard (who plays Father Bill Lombardy) and Zwick himself. And though this video offers great examples of Maguire’s performance and Zwick’s set pieces, I’m curious to know just how far into Fischer’s paranoia and other character flaws the film delves. While he was used as a Cold War-era pawn by the U.S. government, Fischer also had plenty of run-ins with the law later in his life, up until his death in 2008. It might be a bit too ambitious to expect Pawn Sacrifice to cover his entire lifespan, but the film looks fantastic nonetheless.
Watch the excellent behind-the-scenes featurette for Pawn Sacrifice below:
Here’s the film’s official synopsis:
In a gripping true story set during the height of the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) finds himself caught between two superpowers when he challenges the Soviet Empire. Also starring Liev Schreiber and Peter Sarsgaard, PAWN SACRIFICE chronicles Fischer’s terrifying struggles with genius and madness, and the rise and fall of a kid from Brooklyn who captured the imagination of the world.
Be sure to get caught up on our Pawn Sacrifice coverage with some recent stories:
- PAWN SACRIFICE Trailer: Tobey Maguire Is Chess Prodigy Bobby Fischer
- PAWN SACRIFICE Review | TIFF 2014
- Ed Zwick Postpones THE GREAT WALL to Direct Tobey Maguire in Bobby Fischer Biopic PAWN SACRIFICE