Daniel Bruhl has signed on to star opposite Jessica Chastain in The Zookeeper’s Wife, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
The film, which will be released by Focus Features in the U.S., is based on the 2007 best-seller by Diane Ackerman that is set in 1939 in Poland on the eve of the Warsaw Ghetto being established.
Niki Caro will direct the drama that chronicles the true story of Antonina Zabinska (Chastain) and her husband Dr. Jan Zabinski, the director of the Warsaw Zoo. The couple used the zoo to help approximately 300 Jews escape from the Warsaw Ghetto after the Germans invaded Poland. Bruhl will play Lutz Heck, Hitler’s chief zoologist, who took over the Zabinskis‘ zoo in Warsaw and fell in love with, and then terrorized, Antonina. Johan Heldenbergh will Dr. Jan Zabinski.
Angela Workman adapted the screenplay.
Bruhl’s recent credits include Woman in Gold and Rush, for which he received a supporting actor Golden Globe nomination. He’ll next appear in The Weinstein Company’s Burnt opposite Bradley Cooper.
He is repped by WME, Tavistock Wood in the U.K. and Players in Germany.