By Eric Eisenberg
CinemaBlend.com, September 12, 2012
Brad Pitt killed a lot of Nazis as Lt. Aldo Raine in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, and now it looks like he's changing gears a bit by taking an interest in the way that the Third Reich made use of the earliest computers. Plan B, Pitt's production company, is now planning an adaptation of IBM and The Holocaust, a new film based on the 2001 New York Times bestseller written by Edwin Black.
While IBM's personal computers obviously weren't around during World War II, in 1933 IBM CEO Thomas Watson actually formed an alliance with Nazi Germany and created a punch card system that allowed the fascist party an easier way to sort through German census information and learn which of the citizens were of Jewish descent. Vulture says that the technology that Watson gave the Nazis allowed them to cross-reference data about "the mother tongue, religion, nationality, profession, and location of 66 million Germans to quickly and ruthlessly identify, tax, ghettoize, deport, and ultimately exterminate through labor the nation’s 6 million Jews."
Originally the project was set up over at HBO with a script written by Marcus Hinchey (All Good Things), but now Pitt and his company are looking for a new home for the story. It's still possible that the project will end up somewhere on cable TV, but it's looking more and more likely that it will instead get a theatrical release. Vulture says that Pitt, in addition to producing, has also attached himself to the project as an actor as a means to attract directors. Insiders at Plan B, however, deny this claim, saying that he's not "formally attached, and might not ultimately."