Following the conclusion of the Second World War, those responsible for committing the numerous atrocities of the conflict, such as the Holocaust, were made to face punishment for what they’d done. A total of 24 defendants were put on trial, including many high-ranking German government and military officials, and their court proceedings are slated to hit the big screen via the James Vanderbilt film, Nuremberg.
Nuremberg is based on the 2013 book by Jack El-Hai, which follows Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring after he’s arrested for his involvement in World War II. Lt. Col. Douglas Kelley, an American psychiatrist, is tasked with determining if he and the others in detention are fit to stand trial, as well as supervising “their mental well-being” during their imprisonment.
The rights to the script, written by James Vanderbilt, as well as the book were, purchased by Walden Media, Széchenyi Funds and Bluestone Entertainment, all of whom are also financing the film. Filming is slated to begin in Hungary in February 2024.
Lt. Col. Douglas Kelley was called up to serve with the US Army Medical Corps in 1942 and assigned to the European Theater, providing his services to the 30th General Hospital. As the conflict raged on, he acted as the hospital’s chief psychiatrist.
When WWII came to an end, Kelley was among those involved in the Nuremberg Trials. Among the German officials he examined was Reichsleiter Rudolf Hess, the former Deputy Führer, whom he determined suffered from “a true psychoneurosis, primarily of the hysterical type, engrafted on the basic paranoid and schizoid personality, with amnesia, partly genuine and partly feigned.”
Russell Crowe, famed for his portrayal of Maximus Decimus Medridius in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator (2000), will portray Hermann Göring, while Rami Malek, who recently appeared in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer (2023), will take on the role of Douglas Kelley. Michael Shannon has been named as playing Supreme Court Associate Justice Robert H. Jackson, who served as the Chief United States Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials in 1945-46.
Speaking about the cast in a statement, James Vanderbilt, who will be serving as director and producer, said, “What an absolute honor it is to be working with such a tremendously talented group of actors. Our partners at Bluestone and Walden have been incredibly supportive, and I cannot wait to bring this amazing true story to the screen.”
Along with Vanderbilt, William Sherak, Paul Neinstein, Richard Saperstein, Istvan Major, Brad Fischer and the production company Filmsquad will serve as producers on Nuremberg. Beau Turpin, Annie Saperstein, Béla Hajnal, Nikolett Barbaras, Brooke Saperstein, Frank Smith and Ben Tappan will be involved as executive producers.
Also announced as part of the film crew were Dariusz Wolski, Eve Stewart and John Papsidera, who’ll be serving as the director of photography, the director of production design and the casting director, respectively.
“It’s a privilege to collaborate with this formidable group of artists,” Bluestone Entertainment CEO Richard Saperstein said. “I am excited and humbled by the chance to be a part of such important and relevant storytelling.”
Ben Tappen, Walden Media’s president of production, also remarked, “Walden is thrilled to help bring James Vanderbilt’s vision to the screen in the courageous effort to pursue justice in the aftermath of World War II. This astounding moment in history, as brought to life in our extraordinary cast, is a riveting story that is sure to intrigue and resonate with audiences today.”
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As of publishing, there has been no anticipated release date announced for Nuremberg.