Nazis have appeared in countless films over the years. Everything from Raiders of the Lost Ark to Inglourious Basterds has featured characters involved in the Nazi regime – and while their depictions range from hammy, over-the-top villains to chilling evil masterminds (looking at you, Colonel Hans Landa), they have been a consistent presence throughout the post-WWII history of cinema.
Perhaps it’s the fact that the Nazis’ role in world history is so instantly recognizable (and, of course, marketable) or simply that society is destined to re-evaluate their actions during World War II in some effort to make sense of it all. Whatever the case may be, we now have word that a new film on the subject is on its way, and it might well be one of the most invasive yet.
According to Deadline, Mythology Entertainment – the production team behind the next year’s Channing Tatum-Jamie Foxx thriller White House Down – has acquired the rights to adapt Jack El-Hai’s non-fiction book The Nazi and the Psychiatrist for the big screen (as well as the stage). The company is also currently producing an adaptation of The Lobotomist – El-Hai’s biography of Dr. Walter Freeman – for HBO.
The Nazi and the Psychiatrist has yet to be published, but follows the relationship between American psychiatrist Dr. Douglas M. Kelley and Hermann Goering, one of Hitler’s closest associates. It is the first account to access Kelley’s notes from the period during the Nuremberg Trial, wherein Kelley gained regular access to top Nazi prisoners (including Goering).
Bradley Fischer, James Vanderbilt and Laeta Kalogridis will produce the film and stage versions of the book. However, it is still unclear who will actually pen either version. Vanderbilt has worked on several films – including The Amazing Spider-man and the upcoming Robocop remake – while Kalogridis’s credits include Shutter Island and James Cameron’s upcoming Battle Angel.
Either screenwriter could certainly translate El-Hai’s text into a solid script, and the premise certainly holds a lot of potential. If handled well, The Nazi and the Psychiatrist could be chockfull of the kind of tension-ridden conversations that make films like The Silence of the Lambs such riveting cinematic experiences. Here’s hoping that the film capitalizes on this and casts two gifted actors to tackle the lead roles.
Given its subject matter, would you be interested in seeing The Nazi and the Psychiatrist? Let us know in the comments.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for further details as this story develops.