EXCLUSIVE: Next Productions, a subsidiary of sales agency The Exchange, has boarded production, financing and sales of concentration camp survival and escape drama Untold, with Oscar-winning director Aaron Schneider attached to direct.
Untold is based on the autobiography I Escaped From Auschwitz by Holocaust survivor and documenter Rudi Vrba. Next Productions and parent company The Exchange have jointly optioned feature script and book rights.
Award-winning actor Alex Wolff (Pig, Old, Hereditary) is set to star as Vrba and casting is underway for other major roles, ahead of a potential early 2023 shoot.
Schneider’s recent credits include Academy Award and Bafta-nominated Apple TV World War Two drama Greyhound starring Tom Hanks, while the director won the Oscar for the best live-action short in 2003 for Two Soldiers.
“As storytellers, we were all blown away by Rudi’s incredible journey and we felt strongly that the story must be told,” said Next Productions president Caddy Vanasirikul.
Untold will recount the true story of how Vrba, with the help of close friend, Fred Wetzler, and mentor Franz, achieved the seemingly impossible feat of becoming the first prisoners to escape from Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The pair fled across 100 miles of Nazi Germany-controlled territory to bring the truth of the Final Solution to the world. Their famous “Vrba-Wetzler Report”, a document of crimes secretly generated inside the camp, is credited with saving hundreds of thousands of lives.
Next Productions was created by The Exchange in 2021 in partnership with finance company Orogen Entertainment as a standalone development and production company.
Untold will be produced by Story In The Sky’s Catlin; Next Productions’ Vanasirikul and Schneider. The Exchange CEO Brian O’Shea, Orogen Entertainment CEO and president Blair Ward and screenwriters Parter and Hilborn executive produce.
Vrba’s memoir is a deeply personal and intense first-hand account describing his experiences as a prisoner in Auschwitz. Robin Vrba, Rudi’s widow and keeper of the estate, along with her brother and attorney, Gary Lipson, provided countless and invaluable story details, recollections and pictures.
“This has been an important and long process to get to this point, but we are honored to be working with Aaron as such an accomplished filmmaker. Plus, Caddy, Brian and NEXT Productions / The Exchange shared the same passion we did, which is why we decided to partner up with them to make this,” said Catlin.