Diane Ackerman’s The Zookeeper’s Wife has been adapted for the screen by Angela Workman (War Bride) and filming is now underway in the Czech Republic on the feature film. Jessica Chastain is starring in the drama based on Antonina Zabinski’s diaries and directed by Niki Caro (North Country, Whale Rider).
Focus Features is set to release The Zookeeper’s Wife domestically while Universal Pictures International will distribute the film in the U.K., France, Germany, Scandinavia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.
The Zookeeper’s Wife dramatizes a real-life story of heroism. The time is 1939. The place is Poland, homeland of Antonina Żabiński (Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh). The Warsaw Zoo flourishes under Jan’s stewardship and Antonina’s care. When their country is invaded by the Nazis, Jan and Antonina are forced to report to the Reich’s newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Daniel Brühl). The Żabińskis covertly begin working with the Resistance – and put into action plans to save the lives of hundreds from what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, with Antonina putting herself and her children at great risk.
The cast also includes Michael McElhatton, Iddo Goldberg, Goran Kostic, Shira Haas, and Efrat Dor.