Rosemary's Baby director Roman Polanski, who pleaded guilty to statutory rape in 1977 and fled the United States to avoid prosecution, will make another movie in a post-#MeToo era.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the controversial director will helm J'Accuse, a film about Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a French-Jewish man wrongly accused of spying for the Germans in the late 19th century, and the counter-espionage officer who uncovered that Dreyfus was an innocent man. It is based on a true story.
Per THR, the Robert Harris-penned film — which will shoot in Paris and be produced by Alain Goldman's Paris-based Legende Films — will star The Artist's Jean Dujardin as well as Mathieu Amalric, Olivier Gourmet, and Polanski's own wife Emmanuelle Seigner. French star Louis Garrel will play Dreyfus.
J'Accuse was originally announced at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. Polanski told the crowd that it was about "the age-old spectacle of the witch hunt on a minority group, security paranoia, secret military tribunals, out-of-control intelligence agencies, governmental cover-ups and a rabid press."
The term "witch hunt" has been, coincidentally, used by some to describe the #MeToo movement, a reckoning in which many are finally calling out those who commit sexual violence.
People quickly took to Twitter to share their outrage over the news that Polanski is making another film — especially in an era when men are being called out for sexual violence and losing their livelihoods because of their actions.
While the #MeToo movement has effectively ended the careers of accused Hollywood men like Bill Cosby (now a convicted predator) and Harvey Weinstein, many continue to work despite disturbing allegations against them. It was announced earlier this month that Bryan Singer, for example, will reportedly helm a new superhero movie, despite multiple accusations of sexual misconduct. (Singer has denied one of the allegations.)
The axe has apparently not fallen on Polanski.
Polanski has worked on multiple films — including 2003's Oscar-winning The Pianist — after confessing to the rape of a 13-year-old girl. In fact, despite the sexual assault scandal dating back to the '70s, Polanski was only expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in May of 2018, along with Cosby.
Refinery29 has reached out to Polanski, Amalric, Gourmet, and Seigner for additional comment.