After graduating from Downton Abbey to Disney’s lavish, lovely Cinderella adaptation, Lily James has secured another lead role that promises to send her stock soaring ever higher. Just days after climbing aboard Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, the actress has signed on for The Kaiser’s Last Kiss opposite Christopher Plummer.
David Leveaux, a five-time Tony-nominated director in the theatre world, is due to make his directorial debut on the spy thriller, which unfolds during the early years of World War II, after the 1940 Nazi invasion of the Netherlands. The Dutch resistance covertly allies itself with Winston Churchill in order to undermine the Nazis by planting an agent in the home of former German monarch Kaiser Wilhelm (Plummer), who has been living in exile there since 1917.
James plays a young Jewish Dutch woman who embarks on a torrid, treacherous love affair with a German officer, which becomes of great interest to both the resistance and the Nazis. Both sides race to identify the agent who could be responsible for the Kaiser’s possible defection to England, with potentially lethal consequences for the two lovers.
No other casting announcements for the pic yet, but early impressions are highly promising. James asserted her remarkable talents on the big screen in Cinderella, and though she’s playing a very different (and much more imperilled) romantic heroine here, the actress is certainly a terrific choice for such a role. Meanwhile, Plummer is a veteran actor with a long string of stunning performances who, despite a 2012 Oscar win for Beginners, still feels terribly under-appreciated by Hollywood. Perhaps a role in a highly dramatic venture such as this will bring him more well-deserved accolades.
Judy Tossell, a producer on the pic, told Deadline that The Kaiser’s Last Kiss is “about loyalty, duty and a forgotten pocket of history,” adding that “it’s also a really exciting spy thriller with a love story running through the middle of it.”