The last time it popped up on our cine-radar, True Crimes was being mentioned as a possible directorial gig for Roman Polanski. He no longer seems to be involved, but the project at least has a star, with Django Unchained’s Christoph Waltz lining up a lead role in the real-life murder story.
True Crimes is drawn from David Grann’s 2008 New Yorker article about the slaying of advertising company manager Dariusz Janiszewski, whose body washed up in Poland’s Oder River in December 2000. The crime baffled the authorities until detective Jacek Wroblewski tracked Janiszewski's missing cell phone to an eBay auction. The seller was Krystian Bala, a Polish intellectual whose sado-sexual novel Amok had been published after Janiszewski's death, and featured a plot that seemed eerily similar the real-life killing.
Waltz is set to play Wroblewski, the man who reopened the cold case and dug deep into Poland’s dark underbelly of prostitution and drugs. With Polanski seemingly out of the picture, producers David Gerson, Brett Ratner and John Cheng are now on the hunt for someone to hoist the megaphone. As for Waltz, he’s most recently worked on Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem and will appear in The Muppets… Again! and Tim Burton’s true-life art world scandal drama Big Eyes.