Cunningham is best-known to legions of “Game of Thrones” fans as Davos Seaworth, but the Irish actor will swap the blood-stained battle for the Iron Throne for wartime Belgium. Luss, who took the titular role in Luc Besson’s latest thriller, “Anna,” will also star in the movie.
Julien Kerknawi will helm the picture, his feature directorial debut. It is adapted from his short “A Broken Man.” The short was shot in Flemish, but the movie will be in English. Harald House is producing, and its Kristian Van der Heyden will produce alongside Virginie Hayet.
“The Last Front” will follow a widower farmer-cum-war hero, Leonard (Cunningham) and his family as they are thrown into the midst of a war they do not understand. It is set during the first days of the conflict as the German war machine advances, and during what came to be known as the Rape of Belgium. Luss plays Louise, the girlfriend of Leonard’s son, Adrien.
A detachment of German troops is trying to get to safety in France and take Leonard’s youngest daughter, Johanna, hostage. As events unfold, the farmer fights for the freedom of his community.
Kerknawi said he deliberately wants to move away from the usual tropes of World War I movies. “No trenches, no left-side Allies, right-side Germans” he said. “I want to show the people how the people themselves handled the First World War, how they had to fight and struggle.”
He added: “With ‘The Last Front’ I’m depicting a story that has happened over a thousand times in the early days of the Great War, but has never been translated to the big screen.”
“To dream of bringing Julien’s story about family hardship to the world, and then see a motion picture unfold before your eyes is truly remarkable,” added Van der Heyden.
The film goes into production, on location in Belgium, on Oct. 7. It will be released in winter 2020.