Christoph Waltz to Star in Real-Life Thriller ‘True Crimes’

Published 2 years ago by

True Crimes Christoph Waltz Carnage Christoph Waltz to Star in Real Life Thriller ‘True Crimes’

Actor Christoph Waltz is a perfect case study in how quickly one’s fortunes can change. Less than half a decade ago, he was a relative unknown outside of Germany, where he made his living mainly as a television actor. After a head-turning, Oscar-winning performance in Inglourious Basterds in 2009, Waltz has since exploded onto the Hollywood scene and become a prestige actor much in demand.

This kind of fame and respect has allowed Waltz to pick and choose his upcoming projects. One of the most interesting of these is the just-announced True Crimes – a thriller based on a bizarre, real-life murder mystery that took place in Poland.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Waltz has signed on to play the lead in the ripped-from-the-headlines mystery/thriller True Crimes. Waltz will play Jacek Wroblewski, a police officer assigned to solve a seemingly perfect murder. The film is being produced by Brett Ratner (Tower Heist), John Cheng (Mirror Mirror), and David Gerson (Milk). As of the moment, Waltz is the only announced cast member and the movie lacks an attached director.

True Crimes is based on the very real case of Krystian Bala, a Polish author who was convicted of the murder of Dariusz Janiszewski in 2007. Janiszewski was found dead in 2000, but the case lay moribund for some years before Detective Wroblewski uncovered a series of clues that pointed back to Bala. Most strangely, some of these clues appeared in one of Bala’s published novels, as if he were surreptitiously gloating about his crime to the world.

True Crimes Krystian Bala Christoph Waltz to Star in Real Life Thriller ‘True Crimes’

The true-life Krystian Bala.

Like its eventual director, the actual content, tone, and style of True Crimes is currently unknown. It will certainly be interesting to see what direction the production takes. Will it be a low-fi, historically faithful procedural such as 1995’s Citizen X? Or will it take a darker, more David Fincher-esque turn, a la Zodiac? The latter may be closer to the mark, as the announcement hints that Wroblewski’s investigation will take him into Poland’s seedy underworld.

Whatever the shape of the end product, it’s heartening to see Waltz playing the protagonist in True Crimes. His spectacular turn as Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds threatened to typecast him as a typical foreign-accented villain – something much alleviated by his second Oscar-grabbing performance in Django Unchained. Though Waltz is wonderfully engaging as a bad guy, he’s such a charming actor that it would be a shame to watch him get bogged down in a niche. We look forward to seeing what he – and True Crimes – have to offer.


True Crimes currently has no definitive release date. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for all the relevant details.

Source: THR

Follow Kyle Hembree on Twitter @ProjectNightHam
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  1. He had already been cast as a “good guy” in Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem and in Tim Burton’s Big Eyes. Protagonist in both. He was meant to play Gorbachev, but the movie is stalled. Plenty of “good guy” (what does it mean, actually?) protagonist roles. This project is only cementing his name. And that’s a good thing, to see talent and hard work recognised at last. He deserved that…he just happened to work in a small place with no internationsl recognition. Now he has it.

  2. On my radar.

  3. Easily one of the best actors working today. I even enjoyed his performance as Chud/Bloodnofsky in Green Hornet. I would absolutely love to see him in a Marvel movie. Let him play Dr. Strange!

  4. It would have been hilarious if Christian Bale was to play Krystian Bala. Lol. Both name sound the same

    • If Mr.Waltz is in it, it’s worth seeing.

  5. Just on looks alone, although I do like him as an actor, Michael Emerson needs to be cast as Krystian Bala

  6. Though I love Emerson, he would be no good for Bala. I’m reading the article and they need a younger guy, good looking and very fascinating. I’d say Michael Fassbender. I don’t think the film is a whodunit or a procedural, as far as I understand ading the article, this can be turned into a visionary work. Polanski would be great for the psychological aspect…Lynch would be perfect for the visionary style. Fincher too, but it would be a more cliché choice.
    Waltz looks nothing like the real detective that cracked the case (he’s almost 20 years older and looks nothing like him), but he possesses a true strenght and a strong charisma. Put him in a room full of handsome young men. Who will the women gaze at? Tiny, fragile, bespectacled Herr Waltz would steal the show because he’s just mesmerizing.
    I’m glad they didn’t try to have him play Bala, that would have been really cliché. Yet they need another very good actor…my money would be on Fassbender.

  7. This needs to have a Polish cast (aside from Waltz) so there’s authenticity, not western actors pretending to be poles.

  8. Looks really interesting, the story itself is one of those stranger than fiction cases.

    This story was featured in a book written by David Grann, “The Devil and Sherlock Holmes”. It was a collection of 12 articles he’d written for the New Yorker. He also wrote an article that inspired “The Imposter”. I wouldn’t be surprised if more of his articles were turned to movies, they make for a fascinating read.

  9. If Roman Polanski ends up directing this it’ll be ironic: An infamous Polish criminal making a movie about an infamous Polish criminal. ‘True crimes’ indeed. The fact that it deals with prostitution further adds to the irony.

  10. True Crimes: Streets of Poland.

  11. Waltz wins two Oscars (both for supporting) and clearly on Hollywood’s radar — not to mention the extent of his professional resume — but being an award-winner and talented with a coextensive filmography has never been a guarantee of work in the industry. But it hasn’t forbid an absolute neophyte from being cast in a starring role. (re: Gina Carano/HAYWIRE)

    As speculation about the filmic approach may lean more toward David-Fincher-esque (re: THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO), the eventual director could very well be of that Euro strain increasingly popular with the industry.

    Brett Ratner’s involvement should scare no one.