WWII POW tale to topline Colin Firth

LONDON — Rachel Weisz has committed to star opposite Colin Firth in “The Railway Man,” an epic tale of wartime torture and forgiveness to be directed by Jonathan Teplitzky.

The film, which shoots next February in Australia, Thailand and the U.K., is based on the bestselling autobiography by Scotsman Eric Lomax. This tells of his capture and torture by the Japanese in World War II, when he was sent to work on Burma’s notorious “death railway,” and his struggle for the next 30 years to come to terms with the trauma.

Firth plays the older Lomax, and Weisz will play his wife Patti, whose love set him on an extraordinary course of reconciliation with his former captors.

Jeremy Irvine has been cast as the younger Lomax during the WWII scenes.

The script is by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Andy Paterson. Paterson is producing with Chris Brown. The $20 million pic has been set up as a U.K./Australia co-production, with Lionsgate taking U.K. rights and handling international sales, and Tranmission pre-buying Australian rights.

Weisz appeared most recently in Terence Davies’ “The Deep Blue Sea” and Fernando Meirelles’ “360″ She won an Oscar in 2006 for “The Constant Gardener.”

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