French producers Légende Films confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Polanski will begin filming his next movie, the political thriller J’Accuse, this fall in Paris. Louis Garrel will star as Captain Alfred Dreyfus, the real-life French-Jewish soldier wrongly accused of spying for the Germans in the 1890s. The scandal, which divided the country, concluded dramatically in 1906 when Dreyfus was exonerated after spending five years in the Devil’s Island penal colony for high treason. The Artist’s Academy Award–winning actor Jean Dujardin will star as the counter-espionage officer who vindicated Dreyfus. Mathieu Amalric, Olivier Gourmet, and Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner will round out the cast. Polanski has been developing the film for the past six years, with a script from British novelist Robert Harris.
All of which seems perfectly reasonable until you remember:
The subject matte — a man being wrongly accused and proving his innocence decades later — will likely make for interesting press conversations conducted around the time of the film’s eventual release. Polanski is currently evading sentencing in the U.S. after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor — then-13-year-old Samantha Geimer — in 1977. In spite of the plea, Polanski has maintained a successful movie career — even winning a best-director Oscar for The Pianist in 2003.
No, Polanski did not make it to L.A. to accept the award. Harrison Ford accepted it on his behalf, and then presented it to him at the Deauville Film Festival later that year.