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How about this for a feel-good historical drama? Residents of a small English island band together to resist Nazi occupation by forming a book group.

That may sound like an unusual tactic (to say the least), but The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society seems to have all the ingredients of a quirky classic like Calendar Girls or Brassed Off, and now has its stars in place.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Downton Abbey‘s Lily James will play journalist Juliet Ashton, who, in the aftermath of World War II, receives a letter from pig farmer Dawsey Adams (Michiel Huisman).

Okay, so “pig farmer” is not the most romantic of professions, but we like the idea of Lady Rose Aldridge crossing paths with Tyroshi hottie Daario Naharis.

Dawsey is a resident of Guernsey, one of the English Channel Islands occupied by the Germans during the war. Cue the start of a correspondence that sees Juliet discover the existence of a rebellious book club, and eventually travel to the island to meet the members and write a book about the group.

The film has been a long time coming. Based on a best-selling novel by Mary Ann Shaffer, it was first optioned in 2008, with Kenneth Branagh attached to direct by 2011. The twists and turns of development took their toll, however, with Kate Winslet, Anne Hathaway, and Emily Blunt all cited as potential candidates for the lead role, production being beset by script rewrites and location issues, and finally Four Weddings and a Funeral‘s Mike Newell replacing Branagh in the director’s chair.

Rest assured that The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will finally see the light of day some time in 2017, giving us plenty of time to practice that tongue twister of a title.

What do you think so far?

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.