In between her divisive role on the first season of HBO Max’s smash-hit series The Last of Us and working on the return of Showtime’s thriller Yellowjackets, Melanie Lynskey has somehow found the time for another project. Today Sky and Peacock announced that Lynskey will add her name to the ensemble cast in the book-turned-series The Tattooist of Auschwitz. She’ll join leading stars Jonah Hauer-King (The Little Mermaid) and Anna Próchniak (Baptiste) in a true story of heartbreak, trauma, and finding a glimmer of hope in one of the most gut-wrenching and horrifying places in history.
Adapted from Heather Morris’ best-selling novel of the same name, The Tattooist of Auschwitz will center around Lale Sokolov (Hauer-King), a Jewish concentration camp prisoner who has been tasked with tattooing incoming prisoners with identification numbers. When Gita Furman (Próchniak) arrives at Auschwitz-Birkenau, one of the first people she meets is Lale and the two immediately feel a connection. What unfolds next is a true testament to the human experience of love even in the darkest of places. Giving audiences a reprieve from upcoming projects like Sisu and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny that focus on our heroes throwing punches at Nazis (which we also love), The Tattooist of Auschwitz will take audiences on a different kind of journey of resistance in the face of evil.
Lynskey adds her name to the call sheet as a dramatized version of the book’s author, Morris, so we can expect that on some level the series will be told from her perspective. Jonas Nay (Deutschland 83, 86, 89) joins the ensemble with Tali Shalom-Ezer (My Days of Mercy) directing all six episodes. While many series see a changing of directors through their run, having one single vision behind the production will not only set the tone but ensure that the story stays on track with how Shalom-Ezer intends. The latest in Peacock’s ever-growing library, the project is a co-production between the streaming service and Sky Studios (The Amazing Maurice).
In a statement released alongside the announcement of her casting, Lynskey spoke about the honor that she felt in helping to portray the strength and perseverance of Lale and Gita saying:
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 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.
As of right now, no release date has been set for The Tattooist of Auschwitz, but production is underway. Check out a trailer for Shalom-Ezer’s 2015 Sundance Film Festival winner Princess to get a feel for how the filmmaker shares her stories.