Melanie Lynskey, Jonah Hauer-King Lead Cast of Sky/Peacock Drama ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’

Production is underway on “The Tattooist of Auschwitz.” “Yellowjackets” Emmy nominee Melanie Lynskey is set to play the book’s real-life author, Heather Morris, and Jonah Hauer-King of the upcoming “Little Mermaid” remake has been cast as the title character, Lale Sokolov. The period drama hails from Sky and Peacock, which announced the casting news Thursday.

Sokolova was a Jewish prisoner who was given the job of tattooing identification numbers on fellow prisoners’ arms in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during World War II. Morris wrote about his love of fellow prisoner Gita in her 2018 bestselling book about their moving true story.

Polish actress Anna Próchniak, whose credits include the BBC series “Baptiste” and the film “Warsaw 44,” will play Gita. German actor Jonas Nay of “Deutschland 83” will play Auschwitz guard Stefan Baretzki. Tali Shalom-Ezer (“My Days of Mercy,” “Princess”) is attached to direct all six episodes.

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“It is a huge privilege to be telling Lale’s incredible story — one that he was so courageous to share,” said Hauer-King. “I have the utmost respect and admiration for his ability to find humanity and kindness in the most inhumane of places. These scripts heartbreakingly and vividly depict this appalling time in our history, and I feel proud to be honouring Lale and Gita’s remarkable journey.”

Próchniak called her casting “one of the greatest honors of my career so far, as well as a heartrending experience.” She added, “I know this won’t be an easy story to tell, but I will treat their story with the utmost respect.”

Lynskey added, “After the horrors experienced at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the continuation of Lale and Gita Sokolov’s story is finding their new home, and it was years later in Australia [that] Lale felt comfortable to share his story with New Zealand author Heather Morris. As a New Zealand storyteller in my own way, it is a privilege to be a part of the furthering of Lale’s and Gita’s heart-breaking, yet heart-warming story.”

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Shalom-Ezer stated, “Lale and Gita’s love story is an act of defiance. It is the choice to remain human. I’m inspired and honored to bring this story to life, alongside the talented team of people assembled.”

“The Tattooist of Auschwitz” is a co-production between Sky Studios and Peacock with NBCUniversal Global Distribution and All3Media International jointly handling international sales of the series. It is produced by Synchronicity Films in association with Sky Studios and with All3Media International. The series was commissioned by Serena Thompson, executive producer at Sky Studios for Zai Bennett, managing director of content, Sky U.K. Claire Mundell executive produces for Synchronicity Films. Lead writer Jacquelin Perske is also an executive producer on the project and Heather Morris is a story consultant. Evan Placey and Gabbie Asher are episode writers.

“The Tattooist of Auschwitz” will be available on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW in 2024 in the U.K., Ireland, Italy and Germany. No dates have been announced yet for the series debut on Peacock.

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