Colin Firth is reuniting with Irish director Pat O’Connor to tackle the film adaptation of Benjamin’s Crossing.
The King’s Speech star will portray aging Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin in the real-life movie, which will chronicle his daring journey to escape Nazi-occupied France and cross over into Spain via the Pyrenees Mountains in 1940.
Author Jay Parini has helped to adapt his 1996 book for the big screen with Devon Jersild, and production on the political thriller is expected to begin this autumn (17), reports Deadline.com.
“Jay and Devon have written a beautiful script, which the producers are honoured to support, with Pat O’Connor at the helm,” producers Carl and Sally Jo Effenson state. “The worldwide refugee crisis makes Benjamin’s plight as timely now as it was during World War II. It is a great, untold and truly heroic story that must be told.”
The project will be Firth’s second with O’Connor, after teaming up with him in 1987 for A Month In The Country, a post-World War One drama based on the 1980 novel of the same name by J. L. Carr and featuring Kenneth Branagh.
Meanwhile, Parini has previously tasted Hollywood success with another adaption of one of his works.
The Last Station, which followed the final year of literary great Leo Tolstoy’s life, was transformed into a movie in 2009, with Christopher Plummer cast as the Russian writer, and Helen Mirren as his wife Sofya Tolstaya.
The film also featured Paul Giamatti and James McAvoy, and was received with critical acclaim, landing top acting nominations for Plummer and Mirren at the 2010 Oscars.