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Adding Rachel Weisz to virtually any project instantly makes it better (Dream House being a recent exception to this hard-and-fast rule), so I’m thrilled to report that she’s joining fellow Oscar winner Colin Firth in Jonathan Teplitzky’s The Railway Man, due in theaters in 2013.
The film adapts Eric Lomax’s biography of his time spent as a WWII prisoner of war in a Japanese camp. The planned film would cover two distinct time periods in Lomax’s life: His years being tortured on the Japanese “Death Railway,” and the post-war era where an older Lomax came to terms with his suffering and sought out the man who abused him.
War Horse star Jeremy Irvine signed on to play young Lomax in the film, while Firth will wrestle with the character in his later years. The Daily Mail, which breaks Weisz’s casting, says the actress will appear alongside Firth playing Patti Wallace, Lomax’s wife who helps him heal – physically and emotionally – from his cruel, war-inflicted punishments.
It’s a bigger part than you might think, as the Mail says it was Wallace who, in an effort to help her husband get over his obstacles, reached out to the men who abused him during the war while also encouraging her spouse to stand up to his demons. The pieces are in place for a gut-wrenching drama, with a stellar cast embracing what could be difficult material. Right now, The Railway Man has a 2013 release date, but don’t be surprised in Lionsgate tries to work this into next year’s Oscar race, if the finished product lives up to its potential.