The Tattooist of Auschwitz, the bestselling novel by New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based writer Heather Morris is being turned into a six-part TV series.
The co-production with Britain’s Sky and America’s Peacock is currently shooting in Europe, with a cast headed by English actor Jonah Hauer King and Polish actress Anna Prochniak as Lale and Gita respectively – Slovakian Jews who meet and fall in love in Auschwitz, before settling in Australia after the war.
New Zealand actress Melanie Lynskey, who burst to fame as a teenager opposite Kate Winslet in Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures and will soon be seen in the second season of Yellowjackets, plays the author. Israeli filmmaker Tali Shalom Ezer is directing.
Morris, a former social worker, wrote the book after being introduced to Holocaust survivor Lale Sokolov in 2003 as someone who “had a story that might be worth telling”.
UK production company Synchronicity bought the screen rights in 2018 before the book – which has reportedly sold 12 million copies worldwide and been translated into more than 40 languages – had even been published. Soon after, Jacquelin Perske, the award-winning co-creator of Love My Way and writer of the TV series The Cry, was tapped to adapt it for the screen.