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'War Horse' Star Jeremy Irvine to Play Young Colin Firth in 'The Railway Man' (Exclusive)

Jeremy Irvine Portrait - P 2011

The actor will co-star in the project based on the experiences of Eric Lomax, who penned a memoir about his life during and after World War II.

Jeremy Irvine, star of Steven Spielberg's upcoming drama War Horse, has been cast in The Railway Man, a drama to be directed by Jonathan Teplitzky

The project is based on a memoir by Eric Lomax that chronicles his experience working on Japan's Death Railway during World War II and the woman he loved. Japan forced prisoners of war to work on the railway, which connects Bangkok to what is now Yangon, Myanmar.  

Lomax was a British officer during the war, and was tortured by the Japanese for being a spy. Later in life, Lomax sought to track down one of his torturers. He will also be portrayed by Colin Firth in the film.

The script was co-written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Andy Paterson, who is also producing via his Archer Street Productions with Chris Brown of Pictures in Paradise and Bill Curbishley.  

Lionsgate has the U.K. rights and is handling international sales. Liongate U.K.'s Zygi Kamasa will executive produce.

Irvine is currently in production on director Mike Newell's Great Expectations, in which he will star as Pip opposite Ralph Fiennes and Helen Bonham Carter. He has completed Now is Good, opposite Dakota Fanning, Paddy Considine and Olivia Williams.

In Dreamworks' War Horse, which will be released in December, Irvine plays Albert, whose beloved horse is sold to the cavalry during World War I. Though too young to enlist, Albert heads to the battlefields to save his equine friend. The film is based on the Tony Award-winning play.

Irvine is represented by CAA, Hatton McEwan in the U.K. and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams & Hurwitz.

Email: Daniel.Miller@THR.com

Twitter: @DanielNMiller