“Wonder Woman” actress Gal Gadot will star in and co-produce a new thriller film based on the story of a Christian woman who risked her life to help save over 2,500 Jewish children in German-occupied Poland during World War II.
As first reported by Deadline, the 34-year-old Gadot has teamed up with her husband, Jaron Varsano, to form a new production company called Pilot Wave. Pilot Wave is in the works to produce its first movie titled “Irena Sendler.”
Gadot will star as the film’s main character and be a co-producer along with Varsano and Marc Platt (who produced the films “Aladdin,” “Mary Poppins Returns” and the “Legally Blonde” series).
The film tells the story of Sendler, a social worker who also headed the children’s section of Żegota, the Polish Council to Aid Jews.
Sendler used her role to enter the Warsaw Ghetto — created by Nazi Germany for the city’s Jewish population — and helped children escape. Sendler and her partners used various methods to sneak Jewish children out of the ghetto, including underneath stretchers, through an old courthouse, in coffins, and even through sewer pipes.
She also helped to place the children with Christian families or in convents outside the ghetto. She and her partners falsified documents to give children fake names or IDs.
In 1943, Sendler was arrested and tortured in hopes she would give up the names of others working alongside her. Sendler was given a death sentence but was able to escape after a bribe was paid to the executioner, according to a Sendler fact website.
“Following her arrest by the Gestapo during the height of the war, the drama becomes a race against time to save not only herself but the identities of the hidden thousands who’ll face certain execution,” a description of the movie reads.
Sendler died in 2008 at the age of 98. At the time of her death, Sendler was honored by Israeli’s official Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, as a “beacon of light to the world, inspiring hope and restoring faith in the innate goodness of mankind.”
The film’s screenplay will be written by Justine Juel Gillmer, who wrote the 2020 film about Auschwitz survivor “Harry Haft” and has worked on shows such as “The 100” and “Into the Badlands.”
“As producers, we want to help bring stories that have inspired us to life,” Gadot and Varsano said in a statement, according to Deadline. “Pilot Wave will create content that promotes the perspectives and experiences of unique people and produce impactful stories aimed at igniting the imagination.”
On her Instagram page, Gadot said she is excited to see Pilot Wave “taking off.”
“@jaronvarsano and I have been working on this for quite some time and I just CAN’T wait to bring to life all the amazing stories we’re working on with all of our wonderfully talented partners,” she wrote.
Gadot was born in Israel to a Jewish family and served in the Israeli Defense Forces for two years. She was crowned “Miss Israel” in 2004. Varsano and Gadot married in 2008 and have two children.
Gadot has starred in such films as “Fast & Furious,” “Fast Five,” “Fast & Furious 6,” “Justice League” and “Keeping Up With the Joneses.” But she became more of a household name in the acting world when she starred as the title character in the 2017 film “Wonder Woman.”