Kenneth Branagh is in talks to direct and star as Anne Frank’s father Otto Frank in Fox Searchlight’s Keeper Of The Diary. The screenplay was written on spec by Sam Franco and Evan Kilgore.
Keeper of the Diary is set after World War II Otto Frank searched for a publisher for his daughter’s Anne’s The Diary of a Young Girl. The diary detailed her family’s experiences during the Nazi’s persecution of the Jews as they found themselves trapped in Amsterdam from 1942 to 1944. Anne died in a concentration camp during the Holocaust in 1945. Anne’s diary and papers were rescued by Miep Gies and delivered to her father. Otto transcribed the diaries from Dutch for relatives in Switzerland.
The historically important document was published in Europe in 1947. With the help of Barbara Zimmerman, an ambitious junior editor at Doubleday who would go on to found the New York Review of Books, the book was published by Doubleday in 1950. The Diary of a Young Girl, and has since been translated into over 60 languages.
The Keeper of the Diary will be produced by Matti Leshem, who lost his grandmother in the Holocaust, and Lynn Harris will produce under their Weimaraner Republic Pictures banner. Harris and Leshem produced The Shallows.
Branagh narrated the documentary Anne Frank Remembered. He first came to fame in the film version of William Shakespeare’s Henry V, which he directed and starred as the title character. Branagh also starred in adaptations of Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing, as well as Dead Again, Thor, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Valkyrie.
Branagh wil next be seen in Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic Dunkirk, which hits theaters in July. He also directed and stars as detective Hercule Poirot in the upcoming remake of Murder on the Orient Express, which opens in November.