Rising star Lily James (Cinderella) is set to star opposite Christopher Plummer in The Kaiser’s Last Kiss. Five-time Tony-nominated theatre director David Leveaux will make his feature debut with the spy thriller set in the early years of World War II, in the aftemath of the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands in 1940. Living there is former monarch Kaiser Wilhelm, living in exile since 1917. In an effort to thwart the Nazis, the Dutch resistance work covertly with Winston Churchill to insert an agent into the Kaiser’s household. 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.
“It’s about loyalty, duty and a forgotten pocket of history,” producer Judy Tossell tells Deadline. “It’s also a really exciting spy thriller with a love story running through the middle of it.”
The Kaiser’s Last Kiss is an Egoli Tossell Film and Ostar Enterprises production. Tossell and Lou Pitt are producing and Bill Haber and Phil Geier are executive producing. Lotus Entertainment will introduce the project to foreign buyers starting at Cannes.
The film will shoot this fall somewhere in Europe. That puts it ahead of James’ other project, Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver for Brit production powerhouse Working Title. The success of Disney’s Cinderella, with a worldwide cume of $513 million and counting, has propelled the 26-year-old James to the top of many a casting list. She also has a number of high-profile projects in the pipeline including Burr Steers’ Pride And Prejudice And Zombies and the Weinstein Company’s epic TV series War And Peace.
James is repped by Tavistock Wood Management and UTA. Plummer is represented by Markham, Froggatt, Irwin, ICM Partners and The Pitt Group. Leveaux is repped by CAA.
The Kaiser’s Last Kiss is the latest addition to the Film House Germany / Egoli Tossell Film slate which includes Mandela’s Children by Kweku Mandela and Kemal Akhtar; Jalmari Helander’s Big Game; and Jon Baird’s Ivanhoe. Lotus Entertainment’s Cannes slate includes Tom Tykwer’s A Hologram For A King starring Tom Hanks; Scott Hicks’ Fallen; Sacha Gervasi’s November Criminals with Chloë Grace Moretz and Ansel Elgort; and Tanya Wexler’s Replicas starring Keanu Reeves.