Colin Firth On The Railway Man

Full steam ahead for POW drama

Gary Oldman may be drawing the comparisons with Alec Guinness at the moment but it's his Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy co-star Colin Firth who's heading onto Guinness' patch next. Firth has been freshly cast as an ex-POW in the upcoming adaptation of Eric Lomax's memoir The Railway Man, and he shared some early impressions of the project when Empire caught up with him this week.

Lomax, a lieutenant in the Royal Signals, was captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore in 1942 and sent to work on the infamous Burma railway (as seen, of course, in the Guinness-starring Bridge On The River Kwai). The film will cut between his brutal wartime experiences and his attempts to readjust to civilian life and reconcile with his Japanese captors.

The film starts shooting early next year in Britain, Thailand and Australia. "It goes back and forth in time and place," Firth explained. "My character's story occupies Britain, and precisely Berwick. You will see the scenes that take place during the war but obviously someone else will be doing that."

The actor told us that the railway scenes will be shot in Australia, unlike The Bridge On The River Kwai where Sri Lanka doubled-up for the Burma-Siam railroad. Director Jonathan Teplitzky and his crew set to work in February next year. Question is: who should play the young Colin? Suggestions on a forum-shaped postcard...