Star Wars star Daisy Ridley has jumped on board an interesting new film project along with Kristin Scott Thomas (Darkest Hour) and Nina Hoss (Phoenix). The three actresses will star in a film adaptation of Jessica Shattuck’s 2017 New York Times bestseller Women In The Castle, which tells the story of three widows of conspirators who were involved in an assassination attempt on Hitler.
Jane Anderson (The Wife) is set to direct the film, which follows the three German women, “set during and after World War II”, and it “explores how each deals with the fallout of her personal life and the devastation around her differently. Shattuck’s main characters are fictional but the story draws on familial – she is half-German – and historical accounts from the period.”
Producer Rosalie Swedlin said in a statement: “One of Jane’s great talents is to reveal the inner emotional lives of women and in gifting those revelations to actresses, allowing them to deliver award-winning, timelessly memorable performances. And in Kristin, Daisy and Nina we have the cast to do exactly that.”
Producer Tim Haslam, added: “We’re thrilled to resume our partnership with Jane and Rosalie, the team behind The Wife. Jane’s precision in uncovering the deeply personal stories of Shattuck’s female characters is intensely captivating and emotionally expressive. Whilst set within a conflict of epic scale the intimacy of the storytelling is highly resonant for its audience. Our actresses will deliver powerhouse performances.”
We always hear the stories of the people who tried to assassinate Hitler during World War II, but we never hear the stories of the people who were close to those individuals. I’m curious to see the story of these three women.
Michael Sheen is also a producer on the film, and the movie is set to start shooting in early 2021 in Eastern Europe. Below you’ll find a detailed description of the story from the book:
Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined—an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding.
Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.
First Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin’s mother, the beautiful and naive Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resister’s wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war.
As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war—each with their own unique share of challenges.
Written with the devastating emotional power of The Nightingale, Sarah’s Key, and The Light Between Oceans, Jessica Shattuck’s evocative and utterly enthralling novel offers a fresh perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in history. Combining piercing social insight and vivid historical atmosphere, The Women in the Castle is a dramatic yet nuanced portrait of war and its repercussions that explores what it means to survive, love, and, ultimately, to forgive in the wake of unimaginable hardship.