By Marcy Oster
A feature film about the life of Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 children from the Nazis, is in production with Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins in the lead role.
“One Life” has Hopkins playing an older Winton, Deadline Hollywood reported. British actor Johnny Flynn portrays the young Winton.
Winton, who is nicknamed “the British Schindler,” died in 2015 at the age of 106.
The baptized son of Jewish parents, Winton was a 29-year-old stockbroker when he arrived in Prague in December 1938. He was planning to go on a skiing holiday in Switzerland, but changed his plans when he heard about the refugee crisis in Czechoslovakia, which had just been occupied by the Nazis. In the following nine months, he organized eight trains that carried children, the vast majority of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia to safety in Britain.
Winton’s heroism was unremarked until the 1980s, when his wife found evidence of the rescues. The discovery led to a surprise reunion with some of the children and a documentary. Winton received many honors in his later years, including a knighthood.
The “Schindler” reference is to the German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who is credited with saving some 1,200 Jews in the Holocaust. His story was made into the Academy Award-winning film “Schindler’s List” by Steven Spielberg.
Aisling Walsh is directing “One Life,” which was developed by BBC Films with See-Saw Films.