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Jesse Eisenberg to Play Nazi-Fighting Mime in ‘Resistance’

Actor will play Marcel Marceau, a Jewish performer who rescued children whose parents were killed by Nazis

Jesse Eisenberg will play Marcel Marceau, a hallowed member of the French Resistance and world famous mime, in the upcoming film “Resistance,” CAA announced at Cannes on Friday.

Written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz (“Hands of Stone”), the film will follow Marceau’s efforts to rescue Jewish orphans whose parents were killed by the Nazis in World War II while using comedic theatrics to keep the kids’ spirits up during Europe’s darkest hour. The film’s antagonist, who has yet to be cast, will be Klaus Barbie, the Gestapo captain who tortured and slaughtered prisoners during Nazi Germany’s occupation of France and became known as the “Butcher of Lyon.”

After France was liberated in 1944, Marceau made his first major performance as a mime for 3,000 of General Patton’s soldiers and went on to become one of the most famous mimes in the history of theater. He received France’s National Order of Merit in 1998 and even left an impact on pop culture by becoming one of the major influences for Michael Jackson’s dance moves.

“Resistance” will be produced by Claudine Jakubowicz and Carlos Garcia de Paredes, who produced and arranged financing for “Hands of Stone.” Baptiste Marceau, the mime’s oldest son, will serve as consultant and executive producer.

“Resistance” will shoot in early 2018. CAA is packaging and repping the film.