From Nazi colonel to glasnost, Waltz to star as Gorbachev in 'Reykjavik'

  • @MrNickClark

He won an Oscar for his portrayal of a brutal colonel in the SS, and now Christoph Waltz is heading to the other end of the political spectrum as he steps into the shoes of the former leader of the Soviet Union.

The Austrian actor has signed on to play Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik, which focuses on the former Soviet leader's meeting with Ronald Reagan, who will be played by Michael Douglas.

The 1986 summit, held in Iceland's capital, marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War. While the talks stalled, they paved the way for the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty the following year. The treaty eliminated the two countries' nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate ranges.

Waltz was a highly respected actor, yet relatively unknown outside Austria and Germany until landing the role as Colonel Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.

The role won him the Oscar for best supporting actor in 2010. Since then he has appeared in The Green Hornet, the new version of The Three Musketeers and will appear in Tarantino's Django Unchained.

Shooting on Reykjavik, which is directed by Mike Newell, is set to begin in March.