British actor Colin Firth ("Single Man") will play the Lehi founder and leader, Avraham "Yair" Stern, in director Michael Winterbottom's upcoming film "The Promised Land." Lehi was a militant Jewish underground movement active during the time of the British Mandate.
Firth's casting for the role was announced during the Berlin Festival, at which Winterbottom is showing his most recent film "The Killer Inside Me."
"The Promised Land" will be filmed this summer and will tell the story of two British police officers and their struggles with Lehi activity. The officers will be played by Jim Sturgess and Matthew Macfadyen.
Winterbottom has been planning for some time to direct a film that takes place on the backdrop of British Mandate Palestine. In an interview given at the Jerusalem International Film Festival a year ago, the British director told Ynet that too little is known among English audiences about what happened under the British occupation of the area during the Mandate and that he believes that period has many implications on the present time.
Winterbottom added that he plans on focusing in on the Jewish underground in the film, which is slated to come within the next year. In addition to casting Firth, it was reported that Fortissimo Films signed a distribution agreements with the film's producers.