Academy Award nominee Harvey Keitel (The Irishman, Youth) to play lead role as the modern-day Lale Sokolov in the Sky and Peacock television adaptation of the globally bestselling novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris.
With over 12m copies of the novel sold globally, Sky and Peacock today reveal that Jonah Hauer-King (The Little Mermaid, World on Fire) and Anna Próchniak (Baptiste, Warsaw 44) are set to take up the lead roles of Lale Sokolov and Gita Furman, in the Sky and Peacock Original adaptation and Synchronicity Films production of The Tattooist of Auschwitz.
The eagerly awaited series, based on the bestselling novel of the same name, will also star Critics Choice Awards winner Melanie Lynskey (The Last of Us, Yellowjackets) as Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz novel. Jonas Nay (Deutschland 83, 86, 89) will be joining the series in the role of Stefan Baretzki. Award-winning director Tali Shalom-Ezer (My Days of Mercy, Princess) is attached to direct all six episodes, bringing a unique perspective to the series.
The heartrending series about bravery and love in the darkest of places, tells the powerful true-life story of Lale Sokolov, a Jewish prisoner who is given the job of tattooing identification numbers on fellow prisoners’ arms in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during World War Two.
One day, he meets Gita when tattooing her prisoner number on her arm. They experience love at first sight, and so begins a courageous, unforgettable, and human story, told through one man’s memory and experience of Auschwitz-Birkenau; a tale of the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances.
Currently in production, the series is a co-production between Sky Studios and Peacock with NBCUniversal Global Distribution and All3Media International jointly handling international sales of the series.
Produced by Synchronicity Films in association with Sky Studios, the series speaks to the growing ambition of Sky Studios to create unmissable original dramas, that resonate with viewers globally.
STAN, Australia’s leading local streamer is taking the Original rights to the series in their territory, with VIAPLAY taking Viaplay Series rights for Nordics (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland), Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the Netherlands and Poland.
Jonah Hauer-King, comments: “It is a huge privilege to be telling Lale’s incredible story — one that he was so courageous to share. I have the utmost respect and admiration for his ability to find humanity and kindness in the most inhumane of places. These scripts heartbreakingly and vividly depict this appalling time in our history, and I feel proud to be honouring Lale and Gita’s remarkable journey.”
Anna Próchniak, adds: “Reimagining Gita Sokolov and her story for screen has been one of the greatest honours of my career so far, as well as a heartrending experience. I know this won’t be an easy story to tell, but I will treat their story with the utmost respect.” Melanie Lynskey, adds: “After the horrors experienced at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the continuation of Lale and Gita Sokolov’s story is finding their new home, and it was years later in Australia Lale felt comfortable to share his story with New Zealand author Heather Morris. As a New Zealand storyteller in my own way, it is a privilege to be a part of the furthering of Lale’s and Gita’s heart-breaking, yet heart-warming story.” Tali Shalom-Ezer, Director, said:“In Auschwitz, a factory of death and dehumanisation, Lale and Gita's love story is an act of defiance. It is the choice to remain human. I'm inspired and honoured to bring this story to life, alongside the talented team of people assembled.”
Claire Mundell, Executive Producer for Synchronicity Films, adds: “Bringing Lale and Gita’s beautiful love story to the screen is a privilege and to have Jonah, Anna, Melanie, and Jonas joining us on this journey is a dream come true. We’re excited to be working with Tali and her vision for the show, and we’re grateful to Heather for trusting us with her beautiful book. I hope everyone of Heather’s 12 million plus readers will come to the show and fall in love with Lale and Gita, as we have.”
Serena Thompson, Executive Producer for Sky Studios, adds: “The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a powerful, affecting, and timely story. This landmark, event series will resonate with viewers the world over and we are pleased to have brought together an incredible team in Synchronicity and our talented cast - Jonah, Anna, Jonas and Melanie - under the superb direction of Tali.”
Produced by Synchronicity Films in association with Sky Studios, in association with All3Media International, The Tattooist of Auschwitz was commissioned by Serena Thompson, Executive Producer at Sky Studios for Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content, Sky UK. Claire Mundell is Executive Producer for Synchronicity Films. Lead Writer Jacquelin Perske is also an Executive Producer on the project and Heather Morris is Story Consultant. Evan Placey and Gabbie Asher are episode writers.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is currently in production and will be available on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW in 2024 in the UK, Ireland, Italy and Germany.