Peter Weir's The Way Back Gets a Strong Cast - Farrell, Harris, Sturgess, and Ronan
by Alex Billington
January 9, 2009
Director Peter Weir has figured out his cast for The Way Back, an upcoming WWII set project he is developing. Leading the way will be Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess and Saoirse Ronan. Based on a true story, The Way Back is about a group of soldiers who engineered a grueling escape from a Siberian labor camp in 1942. Farrell plays a tough, tattooed Russian; Harris an American; and Sturgess portrays a young Polish inmate. Ronan will play a Russian on the run who meets up with the fugitives. Weir himself wrote the script based on the memoir by Slavomir Rawicz. Shooting will start in March in Bulgaria.
This is Weir's first return to directing since he made Master and Commander back in 2003. Weir's previous films also include Gallipoli, Dead Poets Society, and The Truman Show. Although this sounds a little too similar to Edward Zwick's Defiance (guys escape from Germans, run through forest for months), I've got a feeling Weir is going to do a lot better than Zwick. That cast is pretty diverse too, and it's even more interesting to see what Weir is planning to turn them into - for example, Farrell, an Irishman, is going to play a Russian; and Sturgess, an Englishman, will play a Pole. We'll keep our eye on this project.