Roman Polanski will film his next feature in Poland—if the country guarantees his safety from extradition to America, where the 80-year-old director is still wanted on charges from 1977 of having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl.
Polanski’s film, titled An Officer and a Spy and based off of Robert Harris’s book of the same name, will be a biopic about 19th-century French officer Alfred Dreyfus and his infamous trial in the French court. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Polanski has been scouting locations in Krakow and Warsaw with executives from the Polish Film Institute and top Polish studios for the film.
Polanski holds dual French-Polish citizenship, and under Polish law, the statute of limitations on his 1977 charges have long since expired. Still, Polanski wants Polish officials to guarantee his security before committing to shoot in the country. ”Both the artistic and technical conditions proposed by Polish studios fulfill expectations,” Robert Benmussa, his producer, told the Polish Film Institute. “But the final decision ultimately depends on the legal security of Roman Polanski in Poland.”
He was last in Poland in September, when his appearance at the Gdynia film festival made news as he risked a possible extradition request to appear. Still, there were no moves to arrest the director.
In 2010, Polanski escaped a forced return to America after U.S. authorities lost an extradition battle in Switzerland, where Polanski had been invited to receive a lifetime achievement award. He has lived in Paris since 1978, as France forbids extradition of its citizens to the U.S.