Step aside Hilary Swank. Rachel Weisz is taking dibs on Swank’s previously-assigned role to play Deborah E. Lipstadt in Denial, screenwriter David Hare’s adaption of Lipstadt’s legal battles with historian David Irving, who sued her for libel in 1996 after she labeled him a “holocaust denier” in her 1993 book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth & Memory. Four years after the trial closed, Lipstadt published another book: History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier. (Lipstadt wrote The Eichmann Trial for Nextbook Press, part of its Jewish Encounter Series).
New York-based film distribution company Bleecker Street has acquired rights for the flick, which will be directed by Mick Jackson (The Bodyguard) and co-star Tom Wilkinson, who will apparently play Irving.
Lipstadt told The Times of Israel it was Swank’s decision to leave the courtroom drama due to a scheduling conflict.
The role seems like a perfect fit for Weisz, who’s the product of central European refugees who fled Europe before the outbreak of World War II.
“I am very happy with the choice of Rachel,” said Lipstadt, who is credited as a writer on the film. “In fact, I am thrilled.”