Roman Polanski knows a thing or two about scandalous affairs, on screen and off, with word coming today that the filmmaker's next directorial project will be the political thriller 'D', based on the infamous Dreyfus Affair of 1894. For those not in the know, the Dreyfus Affair is considered to be one of the most sensational political scandals and miscarriages of justice in legal history. In December 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, one of the few Jewish Officers on the general staff of the French Army, was secretly subjected to a court martial following accusations of passing secrets to the Germans. Found guilty, Dreyfus was sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to Devil's Island. However, Col. Georges Picquart slowly began to realize that he may have the wrong man and the real traitor is still at large. In his attempts to prove his theory, he found himself in direct conflict with his superiors and Picquart himself was framed for crimes he did not commit. Dreyfus would have to wait another twelve years before he was eventually cleared of all charges. For this extraordinary tale, Polanski will be reuniting with screenwriter Robert Harris and producers Robert Benmussa and Alain Sarde who last collaborated successfully on 2010's 'The Ghost Writer'. The film will be independently financed, with casting to begin shortly and production hoping to begin in Paris by the end of the year. Lionsgate/Summit International are handling international rights while ICM is representing North American rights. In announcing the project, Polanski said:
"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 todays 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.
I thoroughly enjoyed Polanski's 'The Ghost Writer' and the prospect of him taking on this incredible true story is an exciting prospect to behold.