Kristin Scott Thomas to Star as Russian Empress in 'The Kitchen Boy' (Exclusive)

Kristin Scott Thomas Headshot - P 2012
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Kristin Scott Thomas Headshot - P 2012

Stefan Ruzowitzky is directing the adaptation of the historical novel written by Robert Alexander.

Kristin Scott Thomas has come on board to star in The Kitchen Boy, an adaptation of the best-selling novel by Robert Alexander that will be directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, the helmer behind the 2008 best foreign language Oscar winner The Counterfeiters.

Sir Ronald Harwood, who won an Oscar for adapting the 2002 Roman Polanski drama The Pianist and also penned The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, wrote the script for Kitchen Boy. The title recounts the final weeks in the lives of Russia's last tsar and tsarina, Nicholas II and Alexandra Romanov, and their children, when the family was banished to Siberia. It is told though the eyes of a young servant.

The kitchen boy in the title, Leonka Sednyov, was a real person working in the household. And although Alexander had incredible access to archives, the book -- published by Penguin Books in 2004 -- was a fictional account of the events that occurred in 1918.

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Thomas will play Alexandra Romanov, the German-born empress and mother of five children.

Glenn Williamson is producing via his Back Lot Pictures banner with R. D. Zimmerman, the author of the book who uses Robert Alexander as a pseudonym when he writes. Williamson is the former head of Focus Features and a former DreamWorks exec whose producing credits include Hollywoodland, Sunshine Cleaning and Happythankyoumoreplease.

Exec producing are Meri and Sasha Tarlova. The production is eyeing a shoot in Europe in the summer.

Thomas next stars opposite Ralph Fiennes in The Invisible Woman and stole scenes in Nicolas Refn's Only God Forgives. She is repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group.

Ruzowitzky, who last directed the Eric Bana-Charlie Hunnam thriller Deadfall, is repped by UTA and United Agents.