EXCLUSIVE: Academy Award-winning cinematographer and frequent Steven Spielberg collaborator Janusz Kaminski is set to direct The Rabbit Garden, a film based on the life of award-winning author Jerzy Kosinski. David Permut is producing. The screenplay was written by Jamie Dawson. The talented but troubled Kosinski, a Polish-American, wrote several critically acclaimed works including The Painted Bird and Being There, which was turned into a classic film by Peter Sellers and Hal Ashby.
Kosinski was a Holocaust survivor who led a turbulent life. He was plagued with allegations of plagiarism and sex-addiction. Ultimately, he committed suicide in 1991 leaving a note that read, “I am going to put myself to sleep now for a bit longer than usual. Call it Eternity.” The complexities and nuances of Kosinski’s character are sure to offer a complex and challenging lead role.
A feature adaptation of The Painted Bird, about a young Jewish boy in Poland seeking refuge in the forest during World War II where he encounters many different characters, is currently in development with Czech director Vaclav Marhoul attached to direct.
Production on The Rabbit Garden is set to commence next year. Kaminski’s latest collaboration with Spielberg, The BFG, has its world premiere at Cannes this week.
Permut has been on a roll of late. The Mel Gibson-directed Hacksaw Ridge, starring Andrew Garfield, opens November 4 domestically via Lionsgate. As Deadline revealed exclusively, he’s currently in pre-production on The Polka King, with Jack Black set to star as Jan Lewan, a Pennsylvania polka sensation who unwittingly brought a town to its knees in a Ponzi scheme. Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky (Infinitely Polar Bear) write and direct the true life story. He also has Russ And Roger Go Beyond starring Will Ferrell and Josh Gad as Russ Meyers and Roger Ebert, respectively, currently getting ready to go. Deadline also broke that Sing Street director John Carney is circling that project.
Permut is also developing Beatles manager Brian Epstein biopic A Life In The Day with Simon Cowell and IM Global.