Harvey Keitel has joined the cast of the Sky and Peacock drama based on Heather Morris‘ bestselling novel.
Keitel will play the lead role of the modern-day Lale Sokolov in The Tattooist of Auschwitz, which is currently in production. The series is inspired by the heartbreaking true-life story of Lale (Jonah Hauer-King) and Gita Sokolov (Anna Próchniak).
Shortly after Lale arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942, he was made one of the tätowierer (tattooists), charged to ink identification numbers onto fellow prisoners’ arms. He met Gita when he tattooed her prisoner number on her arm. It was love at first sight, and so began a courageous, unforgettable, and human story. They were under constant guard from a volatile SS officer Baretzki (Jonas Nay) and became determined to keep each other alive.
About 60 years later and recently widowed, Lale met novice writer Heather Morris (Melanie Lynskey) and found the courage to tell the world his story. In recounting his story to Heather, Lale, in his 80s, faced the traumatic ghosts of his youth and relived his memories of falling in love in the most horrific of places.
“The love story in this project, in the face of the horror, gives testimony to the spirit and the goodness of people,” Keitel said in a statement.
Also joining the cast are Tallulah Haddon as Hanna, Mili Eshet as Ivana, Yali Topol Margalith in her first screen role as Cilka, Phénix Brossard as Leon, Ilan Galkoff as Aaron, and Marcel Sabat as Tomas.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is produced by Synchronicity Films in association with Sky Studios and All3Media International and 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 also executive produces. Morris serves as a story consultant. Evan Placey and Gabbie Asher are writers. Tali Shalom-Ezer is set to direct all six episodes.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Series Premiere, TBA, Peacock