Jessica Chastain to play Zookeeper’s Wife

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“Zero Dark Thirty” star – and all-round Hollywood nice girl – Jessica Chastain has pocketed herself the lead part in “The Zookeeper’s Wife”, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The actress, seen recently in “Mama”, will play a real person – one of the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, who helped save hundreds during the Nazi invasion.

“When the Nazi army overran Warsaw, destroying the city and its zoo, Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages. The Zabinskis also took about a dozen Jews into their home.
While danger was always present, and her husband was part of the Polish resistance, Antonina Zabinski kept a mix of humans and surviving animals (lynxes and hyena pups, among them) humming in a one-of-a-kind community that included socializing and even the occasional piano concert.”

The film, to be directed by “Whale Rider” helmer Niki Caro, is based on the novel of the same name by Diane Ackerman.

The pic, which is expected to film at Cannes, will shoot before Chastain reunites with Guillermo Del Toro, producer of “Mama”, on “Crimson Peak”.