Filming will take place over six weeks in locations across Wales, UK. Lionsgate International is selling worldwide rights and Lionsgate UK will release in the UK.
Directed by Andy Goddard (Downton Abbey) and written by Celyn Jones (Keepers), Izzard and Goddard, the film also stars Jim Broadbent (Paddington), Carla Juri (Blade Runner 2049), James D’Arcy(Dunkirk) and Jones (Submergence), with additional cast members Maria Dragus (Graduation), Tijan Marei (Ellas Baby) and Franziska Brandmeier (Am Tag die Sterne).
Based on true events from 1939, the film follows teacher Thomas Miller (Izzard) who has taken a last minute and controversial role teaching English to the daughters of high-ranking Nazis at the Augusta-Victoria College, Bexhill-on-Sea – a finishing school on the south coast of England. Under the watchful eye of their headmistress Miss Rocholl (Dench), and her devout assistant Ilse Keller (Juri), the girls practice their English and learn how to represent the ideal of German womanhood.
When the body of a former teacher is discovered, it triggers a sequence of deadly events and leaves Thomas running from the police with the threat of being hanged for murder.
Financed by Motion Picture Capital, the Welsh Government, Ffilm Cymru Wales and West Madison Entertainment, the film is being produced by Sean Marley, Andy Evans and Ade Shannon of Mad as Birds, with Sarah Townsend producing for Ella Communications and Laure Vaysse for REP6.
Eddie Izzard, Celyn Jones and Trevor Beattie will serve as executive producers alongside Deepak Nayar and Emil Elmér of Motion Picture Capital, Pauline Burt and Adam Partridge from Ffilm Cymru Wales, Zygi Kamasa and Emma Berkofsky from Lionsgate UK and Christina Papagjika and Matt Salloway of West Madison Entertainment.
Goddard commented, “The Anglo-German crossover in our story will see the very best in British onscreen craft allied with the brightest young acting talent from Europe. This dynamic cuts to the core of the storytelling, our need to hold hands across cultural borders is as relevant today as it was in 1939.”