Roman Polanski is no stranger to scandal in his own life, but will bring to the screen a tale of political intrigue in D, which charts the Dreyfus Affair and how a Jewish French officer was wrongly accused of passing secrets to Germany.
Captain Alfred Dreyfus was part of the General Staff of the French Army when, in 1894, he was suspected of espionage. Subjected to a secret court martial, he was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island.
But the newly arrived head of French counter-intelligence, Colonel Georges Picquart, dug into the case and began to realise that a massive mistake had been made. But while he launched a campaign to prove Dreyfus’ innocence, his actions brought him into conflict with his superiors and he paid the price, ending up framed for crimes he didn’t commit and sent off for his own time in jail. Dreyfus was eventually cleared of all charges – but not before 12 years had gone by…
Polanski will work again with The Ghost's Robert Harris and is about to start the search for a cast. He’s aiming to get the film before cameras in Paris later this year.
“I have long wanted to make a film about the Dreyfus Affair, treating it not as a costume drama but as a spy story,” Polanski says in a press release picked up by Deadline. “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.”