HBO has released the trailer for its WWII drama The Survivor, and it stars Ben Foster as real-life Holocaust survivor Harry Haft, a man who lived through Auschwitz by learning to box, at the behest of the Nazis, against other prisoners in the concentration camp.
Directed by Rain Man and Good Morning, Vietnam director Barry Levinson — who makes his return to HBO after previous collaborations including Paterno, The Wizard of Lies and You Don’t Know Jack — The Survivor features Ben Foster (Hell or High Water) as Haft, with Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread), Danny Devito (It’s Always Sunny), Billy Magnussen (No Time to Die), Peter Sarsgaard (Jackie), Saro Emirze (Wilsberg), Dar Zuzovsky (Hostages), and John Leguizamo (Latin History for Morons) also starring.
“When the Nazis invade Poland, Harry Haft is sent to the Auschwitz extermination camp. He is a powerfully built man, so a charming but sadistic Nazi officer offers him an impossible deal: fight fellow prisoners in the boxing ring for the amusement of his captors, or die,” reads the description from HBO. “The winner of the bout survives to fight again. The loser is shot or sent to the gas chamber. How far will Harry’s will to live take him? What will he do to escape the death all around him?”
Watch the trailer above.
Levinson told MovieMaker that Foster lost a considerable amount of weight to play Haft in the concentration camp before bulking back up to play him as a post-war boxer. The two had worked together before on Levinson’s 1999 film Liberty Heights.
“His commitment is extraordinary. I mean, to be able to lose 60 pounds to do the camp work — and we’re not doing it optically. He wanted to lose that weight, to show what a person would be like under those circumstances,” Levinson said. “And then gaining the weight back, which, we shut down for a while while that was taking place. But he has such total commitment and he has enormous talent.”
The real-life Haft passed away in 2007. The Survivor is based on the book Harry Haft: Survivor of Auschwitz, Challenger of Rocky Marciano by Alan Haft.
The Survivor begins streaming April 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on HBO in honor of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) and will be available to stream afterward on HBO Max.
Main Image: Ben Foster prepares to enter the boxing ring as Harry Haft in The Survivor courtesy of HBO.