Christoph Waltz will star and make his directorial debut on crime drama “The Worst Marriage in Georgetown.”
Voltage Pictures has come aboard to fully finance and produce the picture, which will be sold at Cannes.
The project, based on the New York Times Magazine article by Franklin Foer, centers on Albrecht Muth (played by Waltz), an eccentric social climber who seduced and married a wealthy older widow, Viola Drath. Muth and Drath entered the top political circles as they threw lavish events, with Muth lying extensively about his background — which came to light after Drath was found murdered in 2011 at their home in Georgetown.
Muth was 26 when he married the 71-year-old Drath in 1971. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 50 years in prison last year.
Production will start Oct. 12. The film will be produced by Waltz, Erica Steinberg (“Inglorious Basterds”) and Nicolas Chartier. Zev Foreman and Jonathan Deckter will be exec producing for Voltage, alongside M. Janet Hill, who originally optioned the material.
The script was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and playwright David Auburn (“Proof”).
Waltz won Academy Awards for “Inglourious Basterds” and “Django Unchained” and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Tim Burton’s “Big Eyes.” He will appeared next in the James Bond movie “Spectre.”
Voltage will be selling international rights to “Worst Marriage” at Cannes and will co-represent U.S. rights with ICM Partners. It recently bolstered its executive ranks by bringing in Jonathan Deckter as president and John Fremes as president of international sales and distribution.
The deal was negotiated by Dominic Rustam on behalf of Voltage with ICM Partners and David Weber of Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern on behalf of Waltz and the production.