“Fifty Shades” lead actor Jamie Dornan is going back in time to World War II to play the role of a Nazi killer in the upcoming film “Anthropoid.” Variety reports that Dornan, 32, has presented his upcoming movie at the 50th Karlovy Vary Film Festival recently along with “Anthropoid’s” director Sean Ellis. Moreover, the movie will start filming in the Czech Republic next month.
“Anthropoid” is based on a real-life story about two Czech soldiers tasked to carry out “Operation Anthropoid” during the time of World War II.
According to the BBC, two daring Czechoslovak parachutists in 1942 took on a mission with one clear goal: to assassinate SS Obergruppenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich. He was among the most senior officials in Germany’s Third Reich, being Nazi Germany’s overall head of security. Moreover, he was also known as the “leading architect of the Final Solution.”
The mission was undertaken by two brave men trained by British forces. These were Jan Kubis and Alois Denemarek. They found an opportunity to carry out their mission on May 27, 1942 as Heydrich was traveling aboard an open-top Mercedes limousine on his way to a meeting with Hitler in Berlin.
When Heydrich’s vehicle slowed down as it went around a hairpin, another parachutist named Jozef Gabcik tried to fire at Heydrich using a Sten sub-machine gun. However, Gabcik’s gun jammed. Meanwhile, as Heydrich tried to fire at his attackers with a pistol, Kubis threw a bomb, resulting in an explosion near Heydrich’s car. Although Heydrich did not die from the attack right away, he passed away at the Bulovka hospital in Prague eight days later.
Meanwhile, Denemarek, later on, told the BBC, “I’m incredibly proud of what my friend did. If it wasn’t for Jan, I wouldn’t be here today. Half the Czech nation wouldn’t be here today. Heydrich had terrible plans for us Czechs.”
Nonetheless, the assassination of Heydrich resulted in a violent retaliation by the Nazi’s as families of the men involved in the mission were rounded up then executed. In addition, the villages of Lidice and Lezaky in the Czech Republic also came under attack.
Dornan is set to play the courageous Kubis while The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Cillian Murphy will be playing the role of Denemarek. Of the role, Dornan has told Reuters, “The first I learned of ‘Operation Anthropoid’ was when I read the script. I was blown away by it. Playing a real person — I think as an actor you are desperate to do that when you can if it’s a story that moves you.”
Moreover, Dornan believes that Kubis, Denemarek and the two other parachutists did the right thing that fateful day. He said, “Ultimately, I think it sent a very strong message to show that the Czech people were up for a fight and weren’t willing to be treated in that way. For me, I see it as a very heroic act. I think if I was in that position myself, I probably would have done the same thing. I have a strong understanding of why people see it the other way, based on events afterwards, but for me personally, I think they ultimately had to do what they had to do.”
The release date for “Anthropoid” is yet to be announced.