Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth will portray real-life torture victim Eric Lomax in the upcoming Second World War drama The Railway Man.
Eric, now 92, lives in Berwick-upon-Tweed with his wife Patti.
His biography, The Railway Man, was published in 2007 and tells the story of his torture at the hands of the Japanese during the construciton of what became known as the Death Railway during the Second World War.
The route built by prisoners of war, connected Thailand and Burma and was used to supply the Japanese.
Colin, who won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of George VI in the King’s Speech, recently travelled from London to Berwick to meet with Eric and his wife.
The actor has been quoted as describing The Railway Man as an “extraordinary story”.
The film begins production in February 2012 and will be directed by Jonathan Teplitzky. The screenplay has been written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Andy Paterson.
Eric was a lieutenant in the Royal Signals when he was captured by the Japanese along with 80,000 other British and Commonwealth soldiers when Signapore fell to the enemy in February 1942. The capitulation of Singapore was described by wartime leader Winston Churchill as one of the darkest British moments of the conflict and was the British Army’s greatest defeat.
Many of the POWs were sent to work on the Death Railway as it snaked its way across Thailand and into Burma, with more than 16,000 losing their lives to sickness, malnutrition and exhaustion.