Colin Firth On to Star in Benjamin's Crossing

Posted 2017/05/15 2053 0

Oscar-winner Colin Firth is set to star in the Pat O’Connor-helmed Benjamin’s Crossing, based on the novel by Jay Parini.


Colin Firth is no stranger to bringing historical stories to life; he even won an Oscar for one of them with The King's Speech. So you can see the appeal of reality, and Colin is set to star in Benjamin’s Crossing as Walter Benjamin, the Jewish philosopher who escaped from the Nazis by fleeing across the Pyrenees in 1940.

Parini and Devon Jersild adapted the script from Parini’s novel. Based on a true story, in 1940 Benjamin finds himself forced to flee his home in Paris on the heels of the Nazi invasion. With nowhere else to turn, he meets Lisa Fittko, who is helping refugees escape to Spain through the Pyrenees. Despite his weak physical condition, Lisa reluctantly agrees to bring him along, leading an unlikely group of refugees on a daring adventure that will change their lives forever.

Pat O’Connor, who worked with Firth on the Un Certain Regard entry A Month In The County, will direct and production is expected to start this autumn. Carl Effenson of Artimage Entertainment produces with Sally Jo Effenson of Joule Films, and Lucas Jarach, along with Fortitude’s Robert Ogden Barnum and Nadine de Barros. Fortitude International, co-founded by de Barros and Barnum, is financing the project and will begin pre-sales in Cannes this week.

"Jay and Devon have written a beautiful script, which the producers are honored to support, with Pat O’Connor at the helm," say Carl and Sally Jo Effenson, who are using their production companies to back the film. "The worldwide refugee crisis makes Benjamin’s plight as timely now as it was during World War II. It is a great, untold and truly heroic story that must be told."

The Last Station, Parini’s novel of Leo Tolstoy’s final year, was made into a critically acclaimed film starring Mirren, Christopher Plummer, Paul Giamatti and James McAvoy in 2009. It received two Academy Award nominations, four Golden Globe nominations, and five Independent Spirit Award nominations.