Gal Gadot, the star of DC smash hit Wonder Woman, has been signed on to produce and star in the film Irena Sendler, according to Variety. The film’s plot will focus on the life of Sendler, a Polish woman who helped to rescue scores of Jewish children during the Holocaust.
She worked as part of the Polish underground resistance movement during WW2 and helped to smuggle many children to safety, often achieved by giving them false identification papers and placing them with different families. Even when tortured by the Gestapo, she never revealed the whereabouts of those she helped.
The daughter of a doctor who had died in 1917 as a result of typhus, a disease he contracted while helping poor Jewish families in the Polish town of Otwock, Sendler rescued 2500 children from the Warsaw ghetto, as well as from other places where Jewish families were hiding in the city. Prior to this, the area’s Jewish community gave Sendler’s mother financial support when she was widowed, particularly as many of her husband’s colleagues had been reluctant to treat the community for fear of contracting the disease.
Irene had studied Polish literature at Warsaw University, but she was suspended for speaking out against the university’s ghetto-bench policy. As early as 1939 she helped to provide food and shelter to numerous Jewish families. After the war she tried to link surviving children with any living Jewish relatives. She died in 2008, but her story only became widely known shortly before in 2001.
As well as her involvement in Irena Sendler, actor Gal Gadot is said to be working on Death on the Nile with Kenneth Branagh and the follow up to Wonder Woman, titled Wonder Woman: 1984.