Thewlis, Scanlon in 'Pajamas'


David Thewlis and Jack Scanlon have joined the cast of "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas," the tale of a German family living in the town of Auschwitz during World War II.

Based on John Boyne's novel, the film, written and directed by Mark Herman, is produced by David Heyman's Heyday Films for Miramax Films and began shooting Friday in Hungary. Buena Vista International, the affiliate company of Miramax, is set to distribute the film.

"Pajamas" follows a 9-year-old German boy (Asa Butterfield) who befriends a camp prisoner on the other side of the fence in Auschwitz. Thewlis plays the boy's Nazi father.

Herman said he was drawn to the tale because it "is one family's story and yet it gets right to the heart of how the Final Solution could ever have happened."

The crucial difference between the original book and Herman's adaptation is that the role of Bruno's mother, Elsa (Vera Farmiga), has been expanded, a Buena Vista spokesperson said.

Herman also is an executive producer on the project.