Jessica Chastain is arguably Hollywood’s fastest-rising female star. Aiming to capitalise on her box-office appeal, Roadshow has pre-bought The Zookeeper’s Wife, the true story of two Warsaw Zoo employees who sheltered hundreds of Jews during WW2.

The film will be directed by Kiwi Niki Caro, whose credits include Whale Rider, North Country and The Vintner’s Luck. The screenplay is adapted from a Diane Ackerman novel about Antonina and Jan Zabinski, members of the Polish Resistance who smuggled Jews into the zoo and their home after the Nazis captured Warsaw. 

The Zero Dark Thirty star is in Ireland filming Liv Ullmann's Miss Julie with Samantha Morton and Colin Farrell, and she’s also signed to appear with Emma Stone and Benedict Cumberbatch in Guillermo del Toro’s haunted house thriller Crimson Peak.

Roadshow jumped on the project at the Cannes Film Market, plus Pride Prejudice and Zombies, an adaptation of Seth Grahame Smith’s mash-up of the literary classic. Burr Steers (Charlie St. Cloud) will direct and Lily Collins is in negotiations to play Elizabeth Bennett.

Via its output deal with The Weinstein Company, Roadshow will distribute Suite Française, a 1940s-set drama about a young woman who lives with her controlling mother-in-law in Nazi-occupied France and ends up falling for a German officer. Michelle Williams, Matthias Schoenaerts and Kristin Scott Thomas are set to star, with Saul Dibb (The Duchess) directing.

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