Kate Winslet © Getty Images
What do you get when you cross “Revolutionary Road” with “Mildred Pierce”? The reason we turn all kinds of giddy when we hear “Kate Winslet” and “adaptation” used in the same sentence. And recent news that she is in line to join Kenneth Branagh in an adaptation of the bestselling World War II novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, written by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, is just that kind of news.
The novel tells the story of how a group of residents on the English island of Guernsey, just off the coast of Normandy, kept up the pretense of a book club — one that served potato peel pie — in order to break the curfew of their Nazi-occupied homeland during World War II. As the war continues, the thin veil of the book society comes to protect the humanity and hope of its members, providing for them the ability to thrive in an otherwise tension-addled environment. Winslet will take on the role of wartime magazine journalist Juliet Ashton, who after the war, is contacted by Guernseyman Dawsey Adams, a man who shares with her the story of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. She finds the letters so intriguing that she begins her journey to the island. Will Branagh take on the part of Adams? Thus far, it seems he’s only set to direct, but we can hope.
World War II seems to be the film topic du jour in the world of adaptations, as this isn’t the first WWII-centric story to be coming down the pipeline. It was reported in the spring of 2011 that Laura Hillenbrand’s wildly popular Unbroken, the extraordinary survival story of bombardier Louis Zamperini, will be brought to the big screen by screenwriter Richard LaGravanese and director Frances Lawrence. We then learned earlier this winter that Tom Hanks is teaming up with Universal Studios to bring Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts to theaters, likely in 2014. Garden is set during Hitler’s rise to power, beginning in 1933, and follows American professor William E. Dodd from Chicago to Berlin, with family in tow, where he takes on the job as America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany.
“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” is set to begin filming in mid-March, so we’ll hopefully have more news on casting soon.