Christoph Waltz to Star in 'True Crimes' (Exclusive)

Christoph Waltz Headshot - P 2013
Getty Images

Christoph Waltz Headshot - P 2013

Based on David Grann’s New Yorker feature, the story involves the real-life case of Krystian Bala, a Polish writer who was convicted of murder in 2007.

Truth is stranger than fiction for Christoph Waltz.

The Django Unchained star has come on board to star in the thriller True Crimes, based on the real-life events surrounding a cold case.

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Adapted from David Grann’s 2008 New Yorker feature, the story involves the case of Krystian Bala, a Polish writer who was convicted of murder in 2007. The murder for which he was convicted had been a cold case, baffling the Polish police for years, and had been called a perfect crime. Bala, never a suspect in the case, attracted attention when he published a novel that detailed a murder very much like the one that was frustrating the police.

The project originally was set up at Focus Features, but the specialty label put it into turnaround last year. With Waltz newly attached, producers Brett Ratner, John Cheng and David Gerson (who is producing the upcoming Fan Bingbing-Jackie Chan vehicle Skiptrace) are now looking for a new distribution partner.

Waltz will play Jacek Wroblewski, the police officer who reopens the cold case and becomes entangled in the dark underworld of Poland's sex rings, prostitution and drugs. The role will offer Waltz (known for playing memorable villains like a brutal Nazi in Inglourious Basterds) the chance to play a good guy again, like his Django bounty hunter. The two-time Oscar winner recently signed on to play a Cold War consigliere posing as a typical American suburbanite in Stephen Gaghan's The Candy Store.

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There is no director attached yet to True Crimes, but Roman Polanski has been mentioned as a possibility to helm. The next step is locking in a director for the gritty European thriller, which is tonally similar to such films as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Ratner and Cheng are producing through their Rat Entertainment banner. Gerson is producing via his InterTitle Films.

Waltz is repped by ICM.

Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27