Roman Polanski's Next Film Tackles The French Scandal The Dreyfus Affair

By Katey Rich 2012-05-09 15:27:52discussion comments
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Roman Polanski, who delved into politics not long ago in his film The Ghost Writer, will be sticking with that terrain for his next project, which he announced today will be the political thriller D. Based on the Dreyfus Affair, described in the press release as "one of the most sensational political scandals and miscarriages of justice in history," the story will follow the 1894 incident in which French Army Officer Alfred Dreyfus was wrongly convicted of passing along secrets to the German enemy.

Dreyfus was one of the few Jewish officers in the French Army at the time, which added a whole new angle to a scandal that had him wrongfully imprisoned for 12 years. And Polanski, a Holocaust survivor who examined his Jewish heritage most specifically in The Pianist, obviously has some personal connection to the material, not only in being Jewish but having made his home in France for several decades. The movie will reunite him with Robert Harris, who wrote the screenplay for The Ghost Writer, and production is set to start in Paris by the end of this year.

The Ghost Writer, starring Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan, was actually a fair-sized international success in 2010, making $60 million worldwide. His newer film Carnage was definitely not-- it made $60,000 in its domestic release, and had no foreign release at all. Tackling a huge historical story will probably get Polanski more attention for the new film-- and at least by how he describes the effort in the press release, I know I'm intrigued:

"I have long wanted to make a film about the Dreyfus Affair, treating it not as a costume drama but as a spy story. In this way one can show its absolute relevance to what is happening in today's world - the age-old spectacle of the witch-hunt of a minority group, security paranoia, secret military tribunals, out-of-control intelligence agencies, governmental cover-ups, and a rabid press."

We'll keep you posted on when distribution falls into place for the film so you'll know when to look for it in theaters.
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