Roman Polanski’s Next Film, ‘J’accuse,’ Will Be About a Wrongly Accused Man

Director has called the #MeToo movement “total hypocrisy”

Last Updated: September 28, 2018 @ 5:11 PM

Roman Polanski apparently has something to say about a man being wrongfully convicted of a crime. The infamous director has started production on his next film “J’accuse,” his first project in the #MeToo era.

The film tells the story of the Dreyfus Affair, a political scandal in which Jewish French captain Alfred Dreyfus was wrongfully convicted of treason in 1894, and sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil’s island.

Polanski, a French-Polish filmmaker, fled the U.S. in 1977 after pleading guilty to the statutory rape of 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977. He was imprisoned for 42 days, after which he was released and put on probation as part of a plea bargain. When Polanski learned the judge planned to revoke the plea deal, the director fled to Paris before the sentencing.

Since the accusations and revelations of roughly 30 years of sexual harassment and assault against former power producer, Harvey Weinstein came to light nearly a year ago, the #MeToo movement has toppled a number of powerful men in the industry. The accusations against Bill Cosby have led to the comedian serving anywhere from three to ten years in prison.

Polanski, however, has managed to not only stay out of jail but continue to write, produce and direct films.

“J’accuse” will begin filming this fall in Paris. Louis Garrel will star as Captain Alfred Dreyfus, the real-life French-Jewish soldier wrongly convicted of spying for the Germans. While imprisoned, evidence arose identifying the actual culprit, but it was suppressed by the French military, which then falsified documents used to accuse Dreyfus of further crimes. Dreyfus became a cause celebre however, and after more than a decade was fully exonerated. But the matter exposed deep strains of antisemitism in France with profound effects during the following decades.

Academy Award-winning actor Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”) will star as the counter-espionage officer who vindicated Dreyfus. Mathieu Amalric, Olivier Gourmet, and Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner round out the cast. Polanski has been developing the film since 2012, from a script penned by British novelist Robert Harris.

Polanski has already let his opinion be known on the subject of the #MeToo movement, calling it a “Total hypocrisy.” Now he’s getting the chance to explore a man reeling for a wrongful accusation through his art.

In May, Polanski was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, along with Cosby. He was expelled 15 years after his film “The Pianist” took home Oscars for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor at the 75th Academy Awards. The film was nominated for Best Picture, but lost to “Chicago.”

The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter


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