THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – A24 and DirecTV have acquired the U.S. distribution rights to The Exception following its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival last month.
Directed by David Leveaux, the film stars Lily James (Cinderella, Downton Abbey), Jai Courtney (Suicide Squad, Terminator Genisys) and Christopher Plummer (Beginners).
Based on Alan Judd’s novel The Kaiser’s Last Kiss, the story centers a German officer (Courtney) who is sent to Holland to determine if the British Secret Service has infiltrated the home of Kaiser Wilhelm II (Plummer) at the onset of World War II. But he begins a lethally dangerous affair with a young Jewish Dutch woman (James) that results in consequences neither they nor the Kaiser could have foreseen.
Simon Burke adapted the film, which also stars Janet McTeer, Eddie Marsan and Ben Daniels.
Produced by Judy Tossell and Lou Pitt, The Exception is an Egoli Tossell Film/Ostar Production in association with Alton Road Prods., Silver Reel, uMedia, Lotus Entertainment and Film House Germany.
UTA negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers, while Lotus is selling the foreign rights.
We had our first glimpse at ‘The Exception’ poster during the Toronto Film Festival and now you can now find a better quality version of it in our gallery!
DEADLINE – Kaiser Wilhem, last emperor of the German Empire, ended his reign as one of the most hated men on earth. Held largely responsible for the disaster that was World War 1, he was as despised by his own subjects as he was by the world at large, and after Germany’s defeat was forced into exile in the Netherlands, where he spent the last 25 years of his life. He has largely been forgotten in popular culture however, thanks of course to the far worse monstrosities of the Nazi regime, but the upcoming TIFF drama The Exception aims to shine a light on the complicated and difficult man. Starring Christopher Plummer, the World War II-set film follows the complex political machinations within the former Kaiser’s Dutch household and his own contradictory tendencies, and in the exclusive clip above, we get a glimpse of that as he shows leniency towards the personal affairs of his household staff.
A humanistic portrayal of the man and his bundle of contradictions has a lot of promise – Wilhelm was a man even Hitler hated (which would normally be a recommendation to his character but, alas, he was sternly opposed to democracy, enjoyed Germany’s conquests in WWII despite his exile, and was kind of a bigot). We’ll have to wait a while to see it for ourselves, alas. The Exception has its world premiere during the Toronto International Film Festival.
Directed by David Levaux from a script by Simon Burke, the film stars Christopher Plummer as Wilhelm, along with Janet McTeer, Jai Courtney and Lily James.
‘The Exception’ (previously known as The Kaiser’s Last Kiss) will have its world premiere in the Special Presentations section at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival, which kicks off on September 8 and ends on September 18.
Holland 1940. The Nazis are rampaging through Europe. The British have retreated from Dunkirk. The last German Kaiser, now an old man, has been living in exile in a big old house in the Dutch countryside for 25 years, chopping logs and reading PG Wodehouse. Into this world comes a young German officer, sent to stop the old man from defecting to England. Add a beautiful and mysterious Dutch maid and a British spy and the stage is set for a gripping spy thriller and love story.
SHOWBIZ JUNKIES – The first photo has been released of The Kaiser’s Last Kiss stars Lily James (Cinderella and the upcoming Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) as Mieke de Jong and Jai Courtney (Terminator Genisys) as Captain Stefan Brandt. Production has wrapped on the dramatic movie based on Alan Judd’s bestselling book. The WWII drama was adapted for the screen by Simon Burke, directed by David Leveaux, and features Christopher Plummer, Eddie Marsan, and Janet McTeer.
The Kaiser’s Last Kiss takes place around the 1940 invasion of Holland which brings the Nazis face to face with their former monarch, Kaiser Wilhelm (Plummer) – exiled to the Netherlands since 1917. In an effort to thwart the Nazis, the Dutch resistance work covertly with Winston Churchill in inserting an agent into the Kaiser’s household. A lethally dangerous love affair ignites between a German officer (Courtney) and a young Jewish Dutch woman (James) with consequences that neither they nor the Kaiser himself could have foreseen. As the Nazis race to identify and eliminate the agent, the threads of history conspire with the recklessness of the heart to dumbfound them.
Lily James, Christopher Plummer and Jai Courtney are all heading to Belgium next month to film The Kaiser’s Last Kiss.
Principal photography starts in September on the WWII spy thriller, which is adapted by Simon Burke from the novel by Alan Judd.
Set in the Netherlands just after the Nazi invasion of 1940, it centres on a house in Doorn of former monarch Kaiser Wilhelm II (Plummer). Living there in exile since 1917 he now has to deal once more with the German army who have occupied Holland.
James (Cinderella) plays a young Jewish woman in the Dutch resistance who works undercover with British forces to plant an agent within the Kaiser’s household. Courtney (Suicide Squad) takes the role of a German officer, whose love affair with the young woman threatens to ignite that plan with lethal consequences.
Film House Germany’s Egoli Tossell Film is producing alongside Ostar Enterprises, with renowned theatre director David Leveaux making his feature directorial debut.
Judy Tossell and Hollywood super-agent Lou Pitt (whose clients include Plummer) are the producers, with Bill Haber and Phil Geier on board to executive produce.
DEADLINE – Rising star Lily James (Cinderella) is set to star opposite Christopher Plummer in The Kaiser’s Last Kiss. Five-time Tony Award-nominated theatre director David Leveaux will make his feature debut with the spy thriller set in the early years of World War 2 set 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. Judy 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.