Spy Movie News – Dec. 29 2021

Contributed by: Dan Silvestri and Tom Pizzato - Spy Movie Navigator

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Here’s our Spy Movie News for December 29 2021!   Spy movies coming in 2022, The Kingsman series,  Argylle, Red Notice, Mission: Impossible 7, Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, The Duke and more!

Happy New Year!!

Let’s start with a quick Happy 50th anniversary to the James Bond movie Diamonds are Forever. We have a three podcasts that we’ve done on this movie.  You can hear them on your favorite podcast app on the channel: Cracking the Code of Spy Movies.  Subscribe!

What Spy Movie Fans Have to Look for in January 2022

We only have one spy movie expected to release in January 2022.  That is the movie The 355.  This movie is named a female spy in the American Revolution.  Her name was never identified.

The movie, The 355, is about a team of female spies trying to track down a stolen top-secret weapon.  It stars Jessica Chastain, Diane Kruger, Penelope Cruz, and Lupita Nyon’go,  and Bingbing Fan.

The other movie that we have been waiting for that was to release in January, Operation Mincemeat has been pushed in the UK and Ireland until April 22nd.  This is due to the rise of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.  This movie tells the story of the real-World War II spy mission that we have mentioned in many of our podcasts.  And Ian Fleming, in Naval Intelligence at the time, was involved in helping to organize this mission.  In the US it is supposed to stream on Netflix, but we don’t have a release date for that yet.

2022 Movie News

There is a lot of news about upcoming spy movies due after January.  Let’s take a look at these projects.

Kingsman Series

The movie, The King’s Man, was released last week to tepid box office numbers.  We released our no-spoiler, quick-fire review about this movie last week. Although it has received mixed reviews, we liked this movie a lot.

One big problem with this movie was its timing.  It had been delayed multiple times due to the pandemic and was released a week after Spider-Man: No Way Home, which hauled in the 3rd most opening weekend revenue of all time, not just the pandemic.  No Way Home has now eclipsed $1 billion worldwide. It appears that audiences only went to see No Way Home and Sing 2 this holiday season. Almost every other movie had less than stellar box office.

To put the numbers in perspective, according to HollywoodReporter.com, No Way Home had an estimated 5-day holiday North America weekend box office of $138.6 million.  The King’s Man is estimated to have only taken in $10 million during this stretch, barely beating American Underdog.

But the plan for Kingsman movies is massive. According to Matthew Vaughn, in the Mike Reyes article on Cinemablend.com – Vaughn says there are plans to start filming Kingsman 3 in 2022, and maybe even a StatesmanThe King’s Man 2, and maybe even a spinoff on streaming services of some Statesman stuff. . .  who knows – but the plans are big!  We are looking forward to this.

As we mentioned in our quick-fire review of The King’s Man, the mid-credit scene at the end of the movie has a nice setup for a The King’s Man sequel. In that article on Cinemablend, Vaughan says “The King’s Man, that’s the experiment.  Can the franchise expand into two different shapes and forms but still have that the world of Kingsman underneath it.  So, if people like it and go see it, then yeah, we’ll keep expanding.” We hope the lackluster box office take for The King’s Man doesn’t scuttle these plans.

We have a podcast for each of the prior Kingsman movies discussing the real-life events and other movies that influenced or were influenced by the movie. (Kingsman: The Secret Service episode, Kingsman: The Golden Circle episode)


As if Matthew Vaughan hasn’t been busy enough with the Kingsman movies, he is also doing the upcoming Apple+ movie (and a planned trilogy of movies), Argylle.  According to HollywoodReporter.com, This movie is scheduled to release in 2022.  Although Apple+ is a streaming service Vaughan says “a theatrical release of some kind is still in the cards.” “So we’re discussing how to give it the right cinematic release, not necessarily the normal cinematic release. It’d be a cinematic release that is right for Argylle, and Argylle is quite specific and different. So weirdly, it lends itself to a whole new way of being released.”

Red Notice

We mentioned in the November 30th Spy Movie News episode that Red Notice was likely to become the most-watched movie in Netflix history.   Well, Cinemablend.com’s Dirk Libbey reports that Red Notice has achieved this milestone. It is now the most-watched original movie on the streaming service, and with a solid, positive audience score.

Well, in that same episode we told you that director Rawson Marshal Thurber thinks it is “a real possibility that there will be a sequel.”  With the success of Red Notice, we think it is probably likely, not just a possibility, that we’ll see that sequel.

Mission: Impossible 7

Mission: Impossible 7 has faced lots of issues in its filming, from Covid to Cruise blow-ups and more.   But – Christopher McQuarrie is committed!  The director of the last two and next two  Mission: Impossible movies, had been contact-traced for Covid, and directed some scenes through his computer at home!   He states that this Mission: Impossible is the biggest of them all.     Check out Adreon Patterson’s article on CinemaBlend.com.

Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre

Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre brings us an unlikely pair teaming up for a new spy movie, Jason Statham and Aubrey Plaza.  They are kind of like The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’s unlikely team of Napoleon Solo and Ilya Kuryakin.   As discussed on Cinemablend.com, Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre is about an arms dealer (played by Hugh Grant) trying to sell weapons.  Statham and Plaza are agents trying to stop this from happening.  Josh Hartnett,  Bugzy Malone, and Cary Elwes round out the cast. Guy Ritchie’s movie is scheduled for release in 2022 and promises to be a good one.

The Duke

Ok, this one isn’t a spy movie so why are we going to talk about the movie The Duke?  Well, first it stars Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent so it’s likely to be good. And second, this movie is about the real-world art heist of the Goya portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London.  This heist is referenced visually in the first James Bond movie, Dr. No, as Bond pauses and looks at this painting in Dr. No’s lair.   The painting had been stolen before Dr. No was filmed and the case wasn’t yet solved. So, Eon Productions used this recent heist as a subtle call out in the movie.   We’re looking to see the whole story of the heist in The Duke with its planned March 25th, 2022 release.


As seen in Deadline.com, the movie Memory is slated for its US theatrical release on April 29, 2022.  Memory stars Liam Neeson once again playing an assassin, this time named Alex Lewis.  He is being tracked by an FBI agent Vincent Sera played by Guy Pearce.  The title comes from Lewis’ fading memory and its impact on his actions.   The movie, directed by Martin Campbell also stars Monica Belluci.


Kandahar is currently filming in Saudi Arabia. This movie, set in Afghanistan, stars Gerard Butler.  He plays an undercover CIA operative who has to fight his way out of hostile territory in Afghanistan. He has to get out and avoid the special forces trying to catch him.  Deadline.com reports that Nina Toussaint-White and Bahador Foladi have recently joined the cast.

The Gray Man

Joe Russo thinks  The Gray Man shares the pedigree of the 1995 movie Heat.  In an article on MovieWeb.com, Russo points out how in The Gray Man two great actors pitted against each other.  Russo sees this like the Robert De Niro, Al Pacino battle in Heat.

The movie is about a former CIA operative, known as The Gray Man who is hunted by his former CIA partner.  It is based on the 2009 novel with the same name. The novel is the first of a series of 11 novels so sequels are likely if this one is a success.

We’ve been talking about this movie in many Spy Movie News episodes, including discussing its fabulous cast and can’t wait.   Filming wrapped in August 2021 and will be distributed by Netflix. No release date has been set.

James Bond News

The next actor to play Bond

Well, if you have seen No Time To Die, we know that James Bond will return.   But who will play Bond?   Well, according to Cinemablend.com, Tom Hardy is still in the lead. . . . but other potential Bonds are making a comeback!    They base this on the numbers from the betting firm, Coral.

Here are the top 5 ratings, with 3 tied at 8-1 as of now:

  • Tom Hardy – 4-1
  • Regé-Jean Page – 9-2
  • Henry Cavill – 6-1
  • Tom Hopper – 7-1
  • Idris Elba, Richard Madden and James Norton – 8-1

so who will it be?

Of course, no one knows. And Barbara Broccoli says they will start their search in 2022.  Well, we think they may have a shortlist they will work from – but, what do we know?!

Barbara Broccoli also said in another CinemaBlend.com article, that she thinks it will be a man, should be British, but could be any ethnicity or race, and that more great roles should be created for women so that they can make more movies about women in strong roles for women.

Will No Time To Die make a profit?

We’ve been talking about No Time To Die’s revenue goals and speculated if it would make a profit for awhile now.  Well, as Mike Reyes reports, here is MGM’s response:

“Unnamed and uninformed sources suggesting the film will lose money are categorically unfounded and put more simply, not true. The film has far exceeded our theatrical estimates in this timeframe, becoming the highest-grossing Hollywood film in the international marketplace and passing F9 to become the highest-grossing Hollywood film since the pandemic. With the PVOD release of the film already doing stellar home viewing business, all while continuing to hold well theatrically, No Time To Die will earn a profit for MGM, both as an individual film title and as part of MGM’s incredible library.”

So there.  They will make a profit – but this quote was made before Spider-Man: No Way Home kicked all movies’ butts, as we said earlier.

At least in Chicago, No Time To Die just ended its theatrical run after this last weekend.  It is still available for POVD and on home media so the numbers will continue to go up.   According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, as of this recording, No Time To Die has taken in $774 million in worldwide theatrical revenue.

The Sound of 007

Deadline.com tells us that Apple is planning a documentary looking at the history and origin of the music of the James Bond movies, called The Sound of 007.  This documentary is due in October 2022 as a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the movie franchise. It will look at the music from Dr. No through No Time To Die.  It will include interviews and show archive material.  This sounds like something for any Bond fan to look forward to.

Bond alumni to be honored as part of the Queen’s New Year’s Honours

Two James Bond alumni will be among those honored as part of the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.

According to DailyMail, Joanna Lumley was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1995.  Now, she will be made a Dame in recognition for her work in support of the Gurkhas well as her work on television and movies.   Bond fans know her as The English Girl, the British Angel of Death in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

And Daniel Craig will be appointed to The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George as a CMG (or Companion). According to the official website www.royal.uk: this order was originally bestowed solely upon those in high positions in the Mediterranean, the Order of St Michael and St George now recognizes service in a foreign country, or in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs, for example the work of foreign-service officers and diplomats.

We guess parachuting into the Olympics with the Queen didn’t hurt.

Congratulations to both Joanna Lumley and Daniel Craig.

In Memorium

Tommy Lane

We’re saddened to announce the passing of actor Tommy Lane.  Spy movie fans will remember him as Adam in the James Bond movie Live and Let Die where he played one of Kananga’s henchmen in the speedboat chase.

Jack Hedley

Actor Jack Hedly has died at 92. The majority of his work was on television.  But he also had a movie career. Spy movie fans will remember him as Melina’s father,  Sir Timothy Havelock, in the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only.

Richard Conway

Richard Conway has died at 79.  Conway a special effects supervisor was nominated for the Academy Award for The Adventures of Baron Munchausenin 1990.  He worked often with Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame.  In addition, he worked on Battle of Britain, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and the spy spoof Johnny English.

Well, that’s a wrap of our Spy Movie News for December 29 2021!  Start the new year off right and Subscribe to our show, Cracking the Code of Spy Movies through your favorite podcast app – that helps us out, and you will know about all the episodes we launch in the new year!   Happy New year to all!


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