Roman Polanski to direct movie about Dreyfus Affair
Movie will portray the life of the Jewish officer who was wrongfully convicted of treason in the end of the 19th Century.
Roman Polanski's next film will be a political thriller based on the Dreyfus Affair, the acclaimed director announced on Wednesday.
The new film, D, will reunite the team that produced his award-winning 2010 film "The Ghost Writer." Robert Harris, who who wrote The Ghost Writer, will also write the screenplay for Polanski's newest film. Robert Benmussa and Alain Sarde, who produced Ghost Writer and The Pianist with Polanski, will also produce D, the Los Angeles Times Reported.
"I have long wanted to make a film about the Dreyfus Affair, treating it not as a costume drama but as a spy story," Polanski said. "In this way one can show its absolute relevance to what is happening in today's world."
Alfred Dreyfus, a French Jewish army officer, was falsely convicted of treason in 1894, sparking a 12-year public battle that ended with his being cleared of passing classified documents to the Germans.
Theodor Herzl, founder of political Zionism, covered the trial for the Viennese newspaper the Neue Freie Presse, is said to have been influenced by the wrongful prosecution of the Jewish officer and the flagrant anti-Semitism that raged during the trial to seek a solution for the Jewish people, culminating in the founding of an international Zionist organization.
Polanski himself is facing legal woes. He is wanted in the United States for statutory rape. Polanski pleaded guilty to having sex with the girl after a binge of champagne and drugs but fled the United States on the eve of his 1978 sentencing because he believed a judge might overrule his plea and put him in jail for 50 years.
Polanski has lived in Europe ever since and pursued his film career outside Hollywood, facing the prospect of arrest if he ever set foot back on U.S. soil.
Born to Polish-Jewish parents in 1933, his life was marked by a narrow escape from the Krakow ghetto and by the murder of his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, by followers of cult leader Charles Manson in 1969.
Polanski is also known for classics such as Chinatown, which earned 11 Oscar nominations, and Rosemary's Baby.