EXCLUSIVE: John Moore has signed on to direct the World War II biopic Come Hell Or High Water. The film tells the true story of Capt. Ernest Evans, the U.S. Naval Commander posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle off Samar, part of the October 1944 Battle of Leyte Gulf that is considered perhaps the largest naval engagement in history.

evans_portThe Battle off Samar — one of three Philippine islands in a chain including Leyte and Luzon — saw the Taffy 3 task group taken by surprise after the much larger third fleet was lured off by Japanese decoys. Forced to conduct a suicidal defense against a vastly superior Japanese group attempting to attack ground forces on Leyte, Taffy 3 ultimately took one third of the larger battle’s total casualties while holding them off. The group critically contributed to what became the final defeat of the Japanese navy and Evans, in command of the destroyer USS Johnston, took a crucial leading role at Samar, ultimately going down with his ship.

Moore is directing from a script by William Wisher, and is also producing along with Colin Wilson through Maeday Productions, Yale Badik through Tin Can Productions, and Des Carey. It’s being executive produced by Peter Veverka and Brandon Hogan.

Moore most recently directed I.T., starring Pierce Brosnan and currently in post-production. His previous credits include A Good Day to Die Hard, Max Payne, The Omen, and Behind Enemy Lines. He’s repped by by Paradigm. Wisher’s previous credits include Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Judge Dredd and The 13th Warrior, and he most recently collaborated with Moore on I.T. He’s managed by Geoffrey Brandt.