EXCLUSIVE: Actress to play WWII secret agent Vera Atkins; Paris-based sales agent Other Angle launching sales at the AFM.
Uma Thurman is set to play World War Two intelligence office Vera Atkins, who made it her mission to discover the fate of missing agents she had dispatched to Occupied France after the conflict, in John Hay’s upcoming drama Night and Fog.
Paris-based sales agent Other Angle is launching sales at the AFM on the production, which is set to shoot in Northern Ireland in 2015.
The feature is adapted from the Sarah Helm’s A Life in Secrets, telling the true story of Atkins, an intelligence officer for Special Operation Executive’s French Section who trained and dispatched hundreds of agents to Occupied France.
Jeremy Bolt and Elliot Jenkins of London and Los Angeles-based Impact Film and TV are producing. Long-time W.S. Anderson collaborator, Bolt’s credits include Event Horizon and the Resident Evil franchise.
British director Hay’s previous credits include There’ s Only One Jimmy Grimble, which won the Crystal Bear for best film at Berlin, and the Eddie Izzard-starring Lost Christmas
Some 400 agents headed to France during the war. More than 100 never returned and were reported “missing in action”.
After the war, Atkins diligently traced the fates of the French SOE agents who had died in German captivity, establishing the circumstances of the deaths of the 14 missing women she had help prepare for missions.
She was also involved in the interrogation of Rudolf Hoess, the notorious commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Night and Fog will focus on this exchange.
Atkins previously featured in the 1958 film Carve Her Name with Pride about Franco-British secret agent Violette Szabo but this is the first time a film has been devoted to her story.
Born in Romania to Jewish parents in 1908, Atkins moved to London with her widowed mother in 1937 and joined the SOE in 1941.
Awarded the Croix de Guerre in 1948 and made a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur by the French government in 1995 for her actions in the war, Atkins has been cited as the inspiration for the character of Miss Moneypenny in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels.