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Monday, 8 October, 2001, 09:01 GMT 10:01 UK
Heston to play 'Nazi war criminal'
Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston has had a 60-year film career
Charlton Heston is to play a Nazi war criminal in a new film set in Brazil, according to reports.

Heston, who turned 77 last week, has joined the cast of Papa Rua Alguem 5555, currently shooting in Rio de Janeiro, Screendaily.com reports.

The American actor, best-known for playing heroic historical figures like Moses, Ben Hur and El Cid, will reportedly portray the real-life Nazi fugitive Josef Mengele living in hiding in the Brazilian city of Belem.

Josef Mengele
Mengele died in Brazil in 1979
The screenplay is adapted from a historical novel by German author Peter Schneider, in which he reworked Mengele's letters and diaries.

In the film, Mengele's 35-year-old son, played by German actor Thomas Kretschmann, meets his father for the first time in 1977 and confronts him about his war crimes.

The film, which takes its title from the street where Mengele lived, is being shot in Rio and Manaus in Brazil as well as Germany.

Nazism

The cast includes Fahrid Murray Abraham, known for his role in the film Finding Forrester, who plays a Jewish lawyer.

The Italian-Brazilian-Hungarian production is directed by Italian Egidio Eronico.

Mr Eronico was born in Rome in 1955, and has touched on the subject of Nazism before.

His 1995 film La Visita KZ Auschwitz-Birkenau was a study of violence in history.

Since 1941 Charlton Heston has made more than 100 films since his first appearance in 1941's Peer Gynt.

He played George Taylor in the original Planet Of The Apes in 1968 - and had a cameo role as Zaius in the recent re-make.

See also:

14 Aug 01 | Film
Stars attend Apes UK première
20 May 01 | Entertainment
Heston guns for fourth NRA term
15 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Heston attacks British gun laws
01 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Heston visits alcohol clinic
11 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Heston stages West End comeback
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