Focus Features has landed domestic distribution rights with Universal handling international. Johan Heldenbergh is also on board to join the cast.
Niki Caro will direct from a script by Angela Workman, who adapted Diane Ackerman’s novel of the same name. Published in 2007 by W.W. Norton & Company, the book is based on the unpublished diary of Antonina Żabińska.
The film depicts the true story of Żabińska and her husband Dr. Jan Zabinski, the director of the Warsaw Zoo, who together courageously and creatively used the zoo to help some 300 Jewish people escape from the Warsaw Ghetto after the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939.
Liddell Entertainment is co-financing “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” which is being produced by Jeff Abberley, Jamie Patricof and Kim Zubick. Production starts next month in Europe, and Sierra/Affinity will handle international sales.
Bruhl can be seen next in the Weinstein Co. film “Burnt” opposite Bradley Cooper followed by Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War.” He is repped by WME, Tavistock Wood in the U.K. and Players in Germany.
Popular on Variety
The news was first reported by the Wrap.