Peter Webber (The Girl With A Pearl Earring) has signed on to direct Irena Sendler, the tense wartime thriller penned by Agatha Dominik, Brian Pittman & Rachel Long, Stuart Hazeldine, and Jeff Most. The film will be produced by Most (The Crow, The Specialist), BAFTA® Award winning and Academy Award® winning producer Ewa Puszczyńska (Cold War, Ida), Jeff Rice (Lone Survivor, A Private War), Armory Films’ Christopher Lemole and Tim Zajaros (The Peanut Butter Falcon, Mudbound), and Golden Globe® winning producer Gareth Wiley (Match Point, Vicky Christina Barcelona) of Phoenix Wiley.
Principal photography is set to commence in Poland later this year/early next year.
The film will follow the remarkable true story of Irena Sendler, the renowned Polish social worker who organized a team of young women to smuggle 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto in defiance of the Nazi extermination program. Casting is currently underway for production later this year.
Webber said: “Irene Sendler was an icon, an inspiration, an incredibly brave young woman who risked her own life to save hundreds of young children in the Warsaw Ghetto from certain death at the hands of the Nazis during the Second World War. The chance to bring her story to a contemporary audience is a fantastic opportunity. In a time where once again there is a war on European soil and the spectre of Fascism and genocide is no longer just a distant memory but a contemporary reality, its important to tell a story that inspires us to remember a hero of the past, a woman who helped face down oppression and brutality in a dark era of human history.”
Producer Jeff Most said: “I had the great fortune to work closely with Irena Sendler. We discussed how her story; a monumental tale of social workers engaged in espionage to outwit Nazis and save thousands of children from the clutches of death, could be a moving, consciousness-raising, and popular film beloved by audiences the world over. I’m certain that for Irena, director Peter Webber personifies exactly the type of award-winning, deeply personal, and passionate filmmaker she would have been ecstatic to see bringing her incredibly thrilling and inspirational journey to life on the big screen.”
Producers Tim Zajaros and Christopher Lemole of Armory Films said: “Irena Sendler exemplifies unparalleled courage and selflessness. Her extraordinary journey stands as a pinnacle of heroism, transcending the realms of both fact and fiction. As we delved into the story, we were immediately compelled to join the effort of sharing her profoundly inspiring tale. The inclusion of Peter Webber in this endeavor fills us with immense enthusiasm as his creative genius will ensure that Irena’s story received the utmost care it rightfully deserves.”