Roman Polanski Will Next Tackle Dreyfus Affair Political Thriller 'D'
The team behind the 2010 thriller The Ghost Writer is back together, including director Roman Polanski, for the singular letter titled D, a film that will chronicle the Dreyfus Affair, the historical political scandal and injustice that involved Alfred Dreyfus, a young French artillery officer who was sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil's Island for allegedly having communicated French military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris. However, the twist comes when two years later, in 1896, evidence came to light identifying a French Army major named Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy as the man behind the espionage.
The film will also follow, Colonel Georges Picquart, the newly-appointed head of French counter-intelligence who was tasked with convicting Dreyfus and 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 and 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.
Sounds like quite a scandal and Polanski has long wanted to tell the story. The filmmaker told Deadline, "I have long wanted to make a film about the Dreyfus Affair, treating it not as a costume drama but as a spy story. 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." This very well could have the same tone and style as Ghost Writer, but simply in a period setting. Polanski could be looking at some Oscar love here.