While we were fairly disappointed by his last film, the star-studded one-room dramedy Carnage, director Roman Polanski is changing gears as he’s known to do and has announced his next project just as Cannes approaches. Deadline reports that he will helm a feature based on a French political affair that this writer hadn’t known about until today. Titled simply D, it follows the Dreyfus affair, which takes the director back to the late 1800’s. The Ghost Writer screenwriter Robert Harris will re-team with the helmer on this project.

One can see a rundown of the actual story below, but instead of a dry, reserved style, Polanski would like to turn this story into more of a spy thriller. He said, “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.” It sounds like he’s passionate and after his lackluster last effort, which lacked much of that trait, I great look forward to to this one. See a synopsis below.

In December 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, one of the few Jewish officers on the General Staff of the French Army, was subjected to a secret court martial for passing secrets to the Germans. Found guilty, he was sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to Devil’s Island.

However, the man charged with making sure Dreyfus never returned – Colonel Georges Picquart, the newly-appointed head of French counter-intelligence – gradually began to realize a huge mistake had been made and the real traitor was still at large. His attempts to prove it led him into a direct clash with his superiors. Picquart himself was then framed for crimes he had not committed and sent to prison. It was to be twelve years before Dreyfus was eventually cleared of all charges. By then, the case had become one of the most talked-about events in the world.

Production is expected to kick off this year in Paris.

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