Sky and Peacock have announced that Jonah Hauer-King (The Little Mermaid, World on Fire) and Anna Próchniak (Baptiste, Warsaw 44), will respectively star as young Lale Sokolov and Gita Furman, the main characters of the long-awaited Sky/Peacock adaptation The Tattooist of Auschwitz, coming from Heather Morris’ bestseller of the same name, which sold over 12 million copies all around the world.
Produced by Synchronicity Films, the drama series has also added to its cast Critics Choice Awards winner Melanie Lynskey (The Last of Us, Yellowjackets) as novel author Heather Morris, and Jonas Nay (Deutschland 83, 86, 89) as Stefan Baretzki. Multi-award-winning director Tali Shalom-Ezer (My Days of Mercy, Princess) will helm all six episodes.
A story of courage and love in the darkest of places, the series chronicles the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp experience of Lale Sokolov, a Jewish prisoner who is given the task of tattooing serial numbers on the arms of fellow prisoners in the most infamous of Nazi death camps during World War II. One day, he meets Gita, a girl standing in line with dozens of other women waiting for their serial numbers to be tattooed on their arms. It is love at first sight, and so their story begins, full of brave, unforgettable and humane life fragments, told through the memories of a man in Auschwitz-Birkenau; a story of great humanity in the worst of circumstances.
The series, co-produced by Sky Studios and Peacock, is currently in works. NBCUniversal Global Distribution and All3Media International own the international distribution rights to the series.
The main Australian streaming platform Stan owns the project’s rights in its territory, whilst Viaplay operates them in the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland), the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the Netherlands, and Poland.
Jonah Hauer-King said: "It is an enormous privilege to tell Lale's incredible story - one that he had the courage to share. I have the utmost respect and admiration for his ability to find humanity and kindness in the most inhumane places. These scripts vividly and poignantly depict this terrible period in our history, and I am proud to honor Lale and Gita's extraordinary journey".
Anna Próchniak has added: "Bringing Gita Sokolov and her story to the screen is one of the greatest honors of my career so far, as well as a poignant experience. I know it will not be an easy story to tell, but I will treat their story with the utmost respect".
Melanie Lynskey has stated: “After the horrors experienced in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the continuation of Lale and Gita Sokolov's story found a new home, and it took years before, while in Australia, Lale felt comfortable enough to share his story with New Zealand author Heather Morris. I, too, in my own way, am a New Zealand storyteller, and it is a privilege for me to participate in the continuation of Lale and Gita's story, a story that both breaks and warms the heart".
Director Tali Shalom-Ezer has said: “In Auschwitz, a factory of death and dehumanization, Lale and Gita's love story is an act of defiance. It is a choice to remain human. I am inspired and honored to be able to bring this story to life, together with a talented team of professional".
Produced by Synchronicity Films in association with Sky Studios, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is overseen by Serena Thompson, Sky Studios Executive Producer for Zai Bennett, Sky UK Managing Director of Content. Claire Mundell is executive producing for Synchronicity Films. Screenwriter Jacquelin Perske is also executive producing, while Heather Morris is consultant for the project. Evan Placey and Gabbie Asher will pen the series.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is currently in production and it will air on Sky and NOW in 2024 in all Sky Europe territories.