Dame Judi Dench, Jim Broadbent (Paddington), and Eddie Izzard (Victoria & Abdul) are all set to star in a new film, but don’t expect a feel-good movie.
It’d be understandable if you did, given Jim’s form as Professor Horace Slughorn in the Harry Potter films, and Dame Judi’s recent slew of historical and comedy dramas — not to mention her Victoria & Abdul co-star Eddie’s earlier incarnation as a stand-up comedian.
According to Deadline, Six Minutes to Midnight is in fact a war thriller set in England in the summer of 1939, months before the Second World War broke out in Europe.
The film, which has now begun production in the U.K., also stars Carla Juri (Blade Runner 2049, Someone Like Me), James D’Arcy (Dunkirk, Cloud Atlas) and Jones (Submergence, Set Fire to the Stars), with additional castmembers Maria Dragus (Graduation, Mary Queen of Scots), Tijan Marei (Ellas Baby, 4 Blocks) and Franziska Brandmeier (Am Tag die Sterne, Das Parfum).
Directed by Andy Goddard (Downton Abbey) and written by Celyn Jones (Keepers, Set Fire to the Stars), Izzard and Goddard, Six Minutes to Midnight is based on true events, and follows the story of a teacher assigned to a finishing school on the south coast of England where the daughters of high-ranking Nazis learn to become faithful members of Hitler’s League of German Girls.
Thomas (Izzard) is forced to go on the run when he’s suspected of murdering a former teacher. He tries desperately, not only to exonerate himself, but also to save the hearts and minds of his students from Hitler’s grip.
Whew! That does sound pretty heavy. So, how does the rest this stellar British cast slot into the action?
Dame Judi will play the school’s headmistress Miss Rocholl while Jim, who starred opposite her in Iris, will take on the role of a character listed simply as “Charlie.”
Rounding out the cast are Carla Juri (Blade Runner 2049), Nigel Lindsay (Victoria), James D’Arcy(Dunkirk), David Schofield (Darkest Hour), Kevin Eldon (Hot Fuzz) and Celyn Jones (Submergence).
Izzard, Jones and Trevor Beattie will serve as executive producers alongside Deepak Nayar and Emil Elmer 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.
Lionsgate International is selling worldwide rights, and Lionsgate U.K. will be releasing the film in the U.K.