Jessica Chastain is set to star in 'The Zookeeper's Wife'.

The 'Zero Dark Thirty' actress has signed on for the World War II period drama, an adaptation of Diane Ackerman's 2007 novel of the same name, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The film and book - which are based on real life events - centre on Jan and wife Antonina Zabinski, zookeepers at Warsaw Zoo in Poland who saved the lives of dozens of Jews amidst the Nazi invasion during World War II.

After the Nazi army bombarded the city, the couple gave refuge to many Jews by smuggling them into cages at the zoo and taking them into their home. Antonina even provided some solace against the backdrop of war, creating a harmonious secret community of people and animals who socialised and enjoyed piano concerts.

The film will be directed by 'Whale Rider' filmmaker Niki Caro and the screenplay was written by Angela Workman.

Chastain recently earned critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination for her role as Maya, the CIA agent responsible for tracking down Osama bin Laden, in 'Zero Dark Thirty'.

She will next film 'Crimson Peak' for director Guillermo Del Toro, which is due to begin production in early 2014.