Filming begins tomorrow (30th April 2012) in Edinburgh for new war film, ‘The Railway Man’. This hotly anticipated adaptation of the best-selling true-life novel by Eric Lomax is riding on the coattails of several successes – war is “in” right now, with ‘War Horse’ and ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ doing fantastically at the box office, and Colin Firth is certainly hot property after his recent string of awards for ‘A Single Man’ and ‘The King’s Speech’.
Joining Firth in the cast list are Nicole Kidman, Jeremy Irvine, and the newest member Stellan Skarsgård, who was only officially announced two days ago, on the 27th April. The film follows Lomax, played by Firth, as an Allied POW forced to work on building the Thai/Burma railway, with hefty doses of abuse and torture thrown in. Later in life he meets Kidman’s character, who convinces him to return to the bridge over the River Kwai with her in order to confront the source of his continuing nightmares, a tormentor played by Hiroyuki Sanada. The emotional trauma associated with the subject matter is the kind of thing Firth is getting quite good at playing, and early speculation suggests that this may be another winner for him. The man himself has laughed off any questions thus far however, telling reporters that he has no idea how he will play the character yet and won’t until they begin filming.
The screenwriter for the project was Frank Cottrell-Boyce, and director Jonathan Teplitzky has been quipping about Scotland already. When asked why Edinburgh was chosen as the location he replied with “the weather”, before admitting more seriously that “it’s a story that began here and we want to honour that”. The cast and crew will be stationed in the Scottish capital for the next ten weeks, before moving to Thailand in May and Australia in June.