Ben Kingsley to Play Adolf Eichmann in Movie About Mossad's Operation to Capture Nazi Criminal

British actor will play the SS officer captured by Israeli spies in Argentina in 1960

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Ben Kingsley in January 2014.
Ben Kingsley in January 2014.Credit: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Nearly 30 years after playing legendary Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, Ben Kingsley is set to portray the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in the movie “Operation Finale,” reports Deadline Hollywood.

The thriller will be directed by Chris Weitz (“The Golden Compass”) and will focus on the audacious capture of Eichmann by Israeli spies in Argentina, in 1960.

Oscar Isaac (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) will play Peter Malkin, the Israeli in charge of the operation to bring Eichmann back to Israel for trial. Malkin was obsessed with tracking down Eichmann, who was one of the key architects of the Holocaust. Malkin held him personally responsible for the death of his sister and her children.

Although he is not Jewish, Kingsley has portrayed several Jews during his long and illustrious career. These include the most famous of them all, Moses, in a 1995 television movie of the same name; Itzhak Stern in Steven Spielberg’s Holocaust drama “Schindler’s List” (1993); Otto Frank in the TV mini-series “Anne Frank” (2001); and Wiesenthal in the aforementioned HBO movie “Murderers Among Us” (1989).

After fleeing Germany at the end of World War II, Eichmann lived in Austria for five years, before moving to Argentina with the aid of false papers. The Mossad and Shin Bet eventually tracked him down in Buenos Aires, where an eight-man Israeli team captured him, drugged him, dressed him as a flight attendant and got him onboard a special El Al flight to Tel Aviv.

His trial in Jerusalem was the subject of a 2015 BBC TV movie, “The Eichmann Show,” which focused on the men recording the footage from the show trial for television. Eichmann was found guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against the Jewish people, and executed in 1962.

Deadline Hollywood reports that “Operation Finale” will be more like the award-winning 2012 Ben Affleck thriller “Argo” – about the attempts to rescue six Americans from Tehran in 1980 – than Spielberg’s “Munich,” which chronicled the Mossad’s manhunt for the Palestinian terrorists behind the 1972 Olympic Games massacre.

“Operation Finale” is set to shoot in Argentina this fall.

Adolf Eichmann in Argentina.Credit: The Federal Archive

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