EXCLUSIVE: Four-time Oscar nominee Ed Harris (The Hours), Edgar Ramirez (Carlos) and Clémence Poésy (The Tunnel) are among an impressive lineup of U.S. and international actors joining Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) in World War II story Resistance.
Harris will portray General George S. Patton in the film based on the inspirational true story of iconic French mime artist Marcel Marceau who worked with the French Resistance to help save the lives of thousands of orphans during the war. The film will chart how groups of Girl and Boy Scouts created a network to help save children whose parents had been killed by the Nazis. Marceau, an orthodox Jew whose father was killed in Auschwitz, is said to have learned to mime partly in order to help the children escape.
According to the film’s producers, Eisenberg, whose mother was a professional clown, has been working on his mime technique for a year in order to play the role of Marceau. Both he and the film’s writer-director Jonathan Jakubowicz (Hands Of Stone) lost family members in the Holocaust.
The production has assembled an impressive international cast. Poésy will play Emma, a central member of the French Resistance; German actor Matthias Schweighöfer (You Are Wanted) will play the infamous head of the Lyon Gestapo, Klaus Barbie; American Crime Story actor Ramirez will portray a character named Sigmund; Bella Ramsey (Game Of Thrones) is on board for the role of Elsbeth; Son Of Saul star Geza Rohrig portrays Marceau’s cousin Georges Loinger, another legendary Resistance fighter; Austrian actor Karl Markovics (The Counterfeiters) will be Charles Mangel, Marceau’s father; and Felix Moati (Some Like It Veiled) will play Marceau’s brother.
Pic is being produced by German outfit Panteleon Films in collaboration with Epicentral Studios, Rocket Science, Vertical Media, Neptune Features, Riverstone, Ingenious Media and Bliss Media. Resistance Film U.S. is acting as a co-producer. Producers are Claudine Jakubowicz, Dan Maag, Thorsten Schumacher, Carlos Garcia de Paredes, Patrick Zorer, Jonathan Jakubowicz, Matthias Schweighöfer and Marco Beckmann. The film received €2M funding from the FFF Bayern fund.
Jakubowicz said, “Ed Harris was already a legend when I started thinking of becoming a filmmaker. Edgar Ramirez is one of the best of his generation. I’ve been a fan of Clémence Poésy since I first saw her in In Bruges. Bella Ramsey is one of the most talented artists I’ve ever met. And Son of Saul and The Counterfeiters are my two favorite WWII movies. I can’t explain how inspiring it is for this grandson of Holocaust survivors to have the privilege of telling the story of these forgotten heroes, and what they did in the most challenging circumstances imaginable, with some of the best actors in the world.”