May 11, 2015

Tradecraft: Lily James and Christopher Plummer Topline WWII Spy Thriller The Kaiser's Last Kiss

Deadline reports that Downton Abbey's Lily James has joined Oscar winning veteran Christopher Plummer (Triple Cross) in a fact-based spy thriller set during the early days of WWII, The Kaiser's Last Kiss. David Leveaux, a veteran theater director with five Tony nominations under his belt, will make his film debut. Set in the aftermath of the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands in 1940, The Kaiser's Last Kiss tells the story of Dutch resistance fighters working covertly with Winston Churchill to infiltrate an agent into the household of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the former German emperor who has lived in exile in Holland since his country's defeat in WWI. "A lethally dangerous love affair ignites between a German officer and a young Jewish Dutch woman (James) with devastating consequences as the Nazis race to identify and eliminate the agent behind the potentially disastrous defection of their former Emperor to England." Producer Judy Tossell told the trade, "It’s about loyalty, duty and a forgotten pocket of history. It’s also a really exciting spy thriller with a love story running through the middle of it." She's right about that forgotten pocket of history. I've long been fascinated by the the Kaiser's days in exile, his contradictory relationship with Hitler, and his rejection of Churchill's offer of asylum in England. I'd definitely be interested in learning more about all that, especially if it involves a good spy story—real or fictional.

Coming off the worldwide success of Disney's Cinderella, James has become one of the most in-demand female leads out there. She's already got Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and the television epic War and Peace in the pipeline, and Edgar Wright's contemporary musical Baby Driver coming up. According to Deadline, she will fit in The Kaiser's Last Kiss prior to shooting Baby Driver. Filming is expected to commence in the fall "somewhere in Europe."

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