Roman Polanski to direct political thriller ‘D’

Pic based on Dreyfus Affair of late 19th Century

Roman Polanski announced today his next feature film will be political thriller “D,” based on the Dreyfus Affair of the late 19th Century.

Polanski will direct based on a screenplay by “The Ghost Writer” scribe Robert Harris.

Lionsgate/Summit International will represent the film’s international sales while ICM is handling North American sales.

The Dreyfus affair was a political scandal that divided France in the 1890s and the early 1900s, involving the wrongful conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus in 1894 for treason. Dreyfus was a young French artillery officer of Alsatian Jewish descent who was accused of giving French military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris.

“I have long wanted to make a film about the Dreyfus Affair, treating it not as a costume drama but as a spy story,” said Polanski in a statement. “In this way one can show its absolute relevance to what is happening in today’s 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.”

Long-time Polanski collaborators Robert Benmussa and Alain Sarde are producing. Pic will head into production in Paris later this year.

Polanski last directed “Carnage” for Sony Pictures Classics.

He is repped by ICM.

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