PARIS — Jason Clarke (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”), Jack O’Connell (“Unbroken”), Mia Wasikowska (“Maps to the Stars”) and Jack Reynor (“Glassland”) are set to topline Cedric Jimenez’s “HHHH,” a WWII-set drama depicting the meteoric rise and fall of Reinhard Heydrich in Nazi Germany.
Produced by Alain Goldman’s Legende Films (“La Vie en Rose,” “The Connection”) and Simon Istolainen’s Adama Pictures (“The Brats”), “HHHH” will star Clarke as Heydrich, the highest-ranked Nazi officer who was considered to be the mastermind of the “Final Solution” and was assassinated by two resistance paratroopers (to be played by O’Connell and Reynor) in 1942.
The two paratroopers, who were Czech and Slovak-born, had been personally chosen by Winston Churchill and President of Czechoslovakia Edvard Beneš.
Pike will play Lina Heydrich, an aristocrat who was married to Heydrich and reportedly introduced her husband to the Nazi ideology. Wasikowska, meanwhile, will star as a Czech resistance fighter.
Echo Lake Entertainment and FilmNation are backing the pic. FilmNation reps international sales outside of France and the U.S. and will start shopping the project at Cannes. WME Global is handling the US deal.
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Script is based on Laurent Binet’s recent Goncourt prize-winning eponymous first novel, which was adapted by David Farr, Audrey Diwan and Jimenez.
“HHHH” marks Jimenez’s follow-up to “The Connection,” the thriller starring Jean Dujardin and Gilles Lellouche, which was also produced by Alain Goldman’s Legende and co-written by Diwan. The Drafthouse release played at Toronto.
“‘HHHH’ is a utterly compelling story which juxtaposes two antagonist forces — the worst and the best of human nature — as did ‘The Connection’ in its depiction of Judge Michel’s heroic journey to bring down the French Connection,” Goldman told Variety. “In the first chapter, we portray Heydrich intimately and professionally, and we shed light on his darkest side; while in the second chapter, we follow the two paratroopers as they embark on a foolish yet epic mission to kill Heydrich.”
Goldman, who relocated to Los Angeles last year, said the project was meant to highlight a chapter of Nazi Germany history seldom covered in films, as well as modernize the genre thanks to the cast, script and Jimenez, a passionate up-and-coming director who proved with “The Connection” that he could provide depth and substance to complex characters.
Shooting will begin in Prague and Budapest in early August.