Oscar-winning star Colin Firth has found a new wife: Nicole Kidman. She will take the role over from Rachel Weisz as the remarkable woman who helped her husband try to overcome nightmares caused by his horrific World War II experiences.
The Academy Award-winning actress was persuaded by Firth and producer Andy Paterson to star in The Railway Man, which is based on the true story of Eric Lomax, a second lieutenant in the Royal Corps of Signals who was captured by Japanese forces.
As a prisoner of war, he was tortured and made to work on the Burma-Siam railway, also known as the Death Railway - its construction was fictionalised in David Lean’s 1957 film The Bridge On The River Kwai. Lomax’s second wife, Patricia Wallace, known as Patti, will be portrayed by Kidman.
Ms Weisz was all set to play her but she has to do additional shooting on two movies, The Bourne Legacy and Oz: The Great And Powerful - plus she wants to be on hand for the U.S. release of Terence Davies’s haunting film The Deep Blue Sea this month.
Lomax was sent to a camp near Kanchanaburi, Thailand, which was teeming with tens of thousands of POWs building the railway and the infamous bridge.
Filming will take place at that location, which has now become a national monument. Jeremy Irvine, who played the lead in Steven Spielberg’s film based on the book and play War Horse, will play the young Lomax, who is brutally tortured during his time there.
When Patti Wallace married Lomax years later, she set about trying to help him cope with the deep emotional fissures that continued to tear at his mind.
Firth, who will portray the older Lomax, told me: ‘He was being tortured all over again.‘ After you go through what he and others did, you never forget. It’s with you for ever. I’ve met him and he’s an incredible man.’
Fully aware of the psychological horrors her husband was enduring, Patti set about helping him. She wrote to the former Japanese officer her husband held responsible for his torture, which set in motion a most extraordinary act of forgiveness.
Producer Paterson has been trying to make the film for several years, and Firth has been involved for a long time, too. He was actively involved in recruiting Irvine and Kidman and on the project during his few days in Los Angeles for the Oscars. With a script by Frank Cottrell Boyce, the movie is being directed by Jonathan Teplitzky and will be filmed in Scotland and Australia as well as Thailand.
I'll def be watching this for the both of them tbh