In this article, our June 28, 2022 edition of Spy Movie News we discuss the July releases for spy movies (The Gray Man and Code Name Banshee), for both in the theater and streaming, We’ll look at some ongoing projects like Spy Kids,Slow Horses, MR-9, Face/Off 2, and Mission: Impossible. And we’ll throw in some industry news too.
Let’s start this episode by looking at what’s coming in spy entertainment in July 2022.
And it’s been a while, but we finally have not one, but two spy movies hitting theaters in July.
July Theatrical Spy Movie Releases
Code Name Banshee
The first to hit the theaters in July is on July 1st and is titled Code Name Banshee. This movie stars Antonio Banderas, Jaime King, and Tommy Flanagan. It is one of those assassins vs. assassins vs. the CIA-type of movies. We’ve seen this type of plot in numerous movies and feels a bit similar to The Protégé at a high level. We’re intrigued to see what they do with it and how they try to make it unique. Code Name Banshee will have a limited theatrical release as well as a streaming/video-on-demand release on the same day.
The Gray Man
The second spy movie to hit theaters this July is The Gray Man. We’ve been talking about this movie with you since at least February 2021. Well, this Netflix movie is finally here, on July 15 in theaters. It has a fantastic cast of Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Jessica Henwick, Regé-Jean Page, and more. The official tag for this one is: “When a shadowy CIA agent uncovers damning agency secrets, he’s hunted across the globe by a sociopathic rogue operative who’s put a bounty on this head.”
The Gray Man is based on a book with the same title from an 11-book series. The hope is that a series of movies will be created based on the books.
Netflix, as it has done recently with their more expensive-to-produce movies, will release The Gray Man in theaters a week before it starts streaming.
This time, however, they are giving us advance notice that there is a theatrical release. Given that this is the most expensive movie Netflix has ever done (supposedly over $200 million), it makes sense to try to pull in some theatrical revenue. We appreciate that as viewers. We’d rather watch most action-based spy movies in a theater rather than in our home theaters.
Streaming Spy Movie Releases for July
On July 1st, in the US, Netflix will release two spy movies that have been released in the past:
- A Call to Spy – This 2019 movie tells the story of a real intelligence officer, Vera Atkins, who was a recruiter for Churchill’s secret army. We’ve seen this movie and recommend it. Let us know your thoughts. A Call to Spy is also being released on IFC Films Unlimited on July 6th.
- Catch me If you Can – This 2002 movie stars Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio. It is about a real guy, Frank Abagnale Jr, who was a con man and money forger. Tom Hanks, is the FBI agent to has to catch Frank.
Then on July 22nd, Netflix will stream The Gray Man.
Hulu has one spy movie and one spy series it is releasing in July. On July 1st, they will release the 1997 movie The Man Who Knew Too Little. The tag line for this comedy spy movie is “He’s on a mission so secret, even he doesn’t know about it. The movie stars Bill Murray and is a comedy/drama.
Then on July 29, Hulu is releasing the complete series called “The Americans”. This series has 75 episodes so it will be quite a binge to watch it all, but this was an excellent spy series. “The Americans” is about Russian Agents who assimilated into US life for years trying to be a married couple with kids while spying for Russia. It was based on a true story of a spy ring called “The Illegals”. It stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. We think this is a series any spy movie fan will enjoy.
Amazon Prime is adding 4 spy movies in July:
- The 1988 Debra Winger, Tom Berenger movie Betrayed
- Two Tom Clancy movies, 1992’s Patriot Games and the 2002 movie The Sum of all Fears.
- And the 2019 spy movie, The Mongolian Connection
The Kite Runner
Finally, although this one isn’t a spy story, we talked about the movie The Kite Runner in our 2-part interview with the director of photography for Quantum of Solace, Roberto Schaefer. Well, “The Kite Runner” is coming to Broadway. The play had a 2-season run in London’s West End. Previews start July 6th at The Hayes Theater on Broadway and will open at the Hayes Theater in New York on July 21. This is a limited engagement that will run through October 20, 2022.
Upcoming Spy Movie Projects
Ok, this is another project we’ve been talking about for a while. We’ve been asking “Will it be a sequel or a new story”? Will Nicholas Cage or John Travolta be in it? and what is going on with this thing?’
Well, an article on movieweb.com has the following as it’s subheader: “Face/Off 2 seems to be moving along, but will not go forward until it can live up to the legacy of the original move”. Um, we say (sarcastically) “Good Luck With That”. That’s a tall order due to the excellent interplay between Travolta and Cage in the original.
It appears that the director, Adam Wingard has said that the new film will be an “absolute sequel” to the hit original. We’ll have to wait to see what happens here.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One
We can never get enough Mission: Impossible 7 news, even though we have to wait until July 14 next year to see it. Oh, wait, the name is now Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One. That title is almost as long as the wait.
Anyway, we know that Tom Cruise does many of his own stunts for this character Ethan Hunt. Well, it looks like Hayley Atwell, who plays a character named Grace had to do some stunts too.
She gave an interview at the recent Awesome Con. Most of the 44 minutes were talking about her MCU character, Agent Carter, and other roles. However, at about 8:00 minutes in, someone asked her about her stunts in the upcoming Mission: Impossible movie. It’s an interesting watch. She is very complimentary to Tom Cruise and his quest for perfection.
Although she says more, the highlight that we’ll call out is when she said she: “Backflipped over a bridge, jumped off backward off a moving train, a lot of running uphill in high heels while handcuffed to Mr. Cruise.” Given how intense Tom Cruise is while running, that had to be a challenge. You can find the interview on YouTube by searching for Haley Atwell Peggy Carter Panel. Choose the one from Awesome Con 2022.
The Gray Man
Well, now that the movie is almost here, it’s time for a bit of hype:
Omaze.com is a website that does charity fundraising and occasionally has celebrities involved. Well, they recently held a raffle that ended yesterday with a chance to go to The Gray Man premier, stay at a 4-star hotel, and get pictures with Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling. The winner won’t be announced until July 13. The goal is to help Christopher’s Haven with homes for kids with cancer.
Many movies have these types of activities and Omaze is one of the bigger sites that manage them. If you have an upcoming movie you are interested in, it’s worth taking a look at Omaze.com to see if they have a drawing you might like. We here at SpyMovieNavigator.com and our Cracking the Code of Spy Movies podcast have no affiliation with Omaze, but we have entered and have donated with previous drawings!
Netflix released a new Exclusive Clip on YouTube.
In May, Netflix released their trailer for The Gray Man. Now, Netflix has released an “exclusive clip” of a scene from The Gray Man. The clip includes Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, and Ana de Armas. You can click on these links to see both the trailer and this exclusive clip.
The Gray Man who is Ryan Gosling playing?
Well, we’re still a couple of weeks before the first The Gray Man hits the screen, but EmpireOnline talked with Ryan Gosling about his character, Courtland Gentry (codename Sierra Six). It sounds like Gentry has a similar feel to Harry Palmer in the Len Deighton series in that he was taken from prison and put into a spy organization, here the CIA. So, he’s a reluctant spy like we often talk about in spy movies.
Gosling tells Empireonline: “What I liked about this character is that he wants something that most of us want, which is just to be free,” … “In almost every scene we tried to set it up so that he was at a disadvantage. And it becomes about watching him use whatever is in his environment to gain leverage.”
Gosling also tells us that he loved making the movie and would love to do another. We bet that if this first movie is successful, he’ll get a few more spins as Sierra Six.
Empire’s Summer Preview has Gosling and Evans on the cover. The Gray Man is set for a limited release on July 15, 2022, followed by its release on Netflix on July 22, 2022.
We mentioned that this Gary Oldman series had been picked up by Apple + for a second season. Well, according to Variety, it has been picked up for a third and fourth season. The series is based on the spy books series “Slough House” which was authored by Mick Herron. Season 1 was called “Slow Horses” and was based on the book of the same name. Season two is based on the book “Dead Lions. Season 3 is based on the book “Real Tigers”. And finally season 4 will be based on the book “Spook Street”.
We are very happy to see that the series has been picked up for 3 more seasons. We thought that Season 1 was very well done and are looking forward to the next 3 seasons.
We mentioned in our April Spy Movie News that Netflix was rebooting the Spy Kids franchise. Well, now we know some of the actors for the movie. An article on deadline.com tells us that Gina Rodriguez, Zachary Levi, Everly Carganilla, and Connor Esterson are signed.
The article also tells us that “This latest Spy Kids chapter is set after the children of the world’s greatest secret agents unwittingly help a powerful game developer unleash a computer virus that gives him control of all technology, leading them to become spies themselves to save their parents and the world.”
We liked the first Spy Kids movies and hope this reboot takes hold. We’re big fans of spy movies for kids to help them get excited about the genre.
Now, this could be a long series if it is successful. We know that James Bond movies are, or were based, on the writings of Ian Fleming. Fleming wrote 15 novels or short stories that were the inspiration for the movies. Well, Bangladeshi writer Qazi Anwar Hussain wrote over 500 novels including a series of books on a spy named Masud Rana. They were supposedly influenced by the James Bond series.
Production has started on a movie based on his first book in the Rana series. Rana had the code name “MR-9”, which is where the movie gets its title.
Rana will be played by Bangladeshi actor ABM Sumon. Frank Grillo has signed on to play Rana’s nemesis. Joining them will be Michael Jai White, Matt Passmore, and Remy Grillo (yes, he’s Frank’s son).
For those of you who listened to our interview with Brigitte Millar, who was in Spectre and No Time To Die, we talked about a short movie she did with Matt Passmore called Nox. Passmore was great in that so it will be fun to see him in MR-9.
The Wasp Network
Three years after the movie The Wasp Network (2019) was released, Netflix is being sued for defamation of character. The Wasp Network was based on the book “The Last Soldiers of the Cold War” and is about a group called Cuban Five that infiltrates Cuban exile groups in Miami. It had previously been sued by Ana Martinez over her character’s portrayal.
The defamation suit was brought by Jose Basulto who is the leader of a group called Brothers to the Rescue. “The Film is an obvious attempt to rewrite and whitewash history in favor of the communist Cuban regime and is factually inaccurate,” the complaint states. “The Film portrays the Cuban Five as courageous heroes who were simply defending their homeland. In reality, the Cuban Five were a spy network that produced actionable intelligence enabling the Cuban government to commit extrajudicial killings.” The suit claims that Netflix portrayed him as a puppet of the United States and as a traitor to Cuba. It adds, “This portrayal of Mr. Basulto, Brothers to the Rescue, and the Cuban exile community was deliberately calculated to create two clear and unmistakable villains for the Film”.
Basulto is trying to get an injunction either barring Netflix from carrying the espionage movie or to force edits of scenes and have Netflix delete references to this being based on true events.
You can read the details of the suit on hollywoodreporter.com. Netflix did not respond to Hollywood reporters’ requests for comment. This could be interesting.
The Glastonbury Festival had its post-COVID restart after a two-year pause. Although this festival isn’t a spy movie, Glasto, as it is colloquially called, had a big presence in the movie Kingsman: The Golden Circle. And at this year’s festival, two singers with a Bond history performed.
On Friday night Billie Eilish took to the Pyramid Stage. Eilish won the 2022 Academy Award for Best Original Song for the theme song to No Time To Die.
Then on Saturday night, Sir Paul McCartney took the stage. McCartney delivered the first James Bond theme song to be nominated for an Academy Award. Of course, we’re talking about “Live and Let Die”. So, this music festival has some nice spy movie props to its name.
Today’s In Memoriam, unfortunately, has one actor and four behind-the-camera workers who’ve had an impact on spy movies.
Philip Baker Hall
Veteran actor Philip Baker Hall has passed at age 90. He had a 50-year acting career in both tv and movies. TV fans will most likely remember him for his roles on Seinfeld and Modern Family. Spy Movie fans will remember him as Defense Secretary Becker in The Sum of All Fears and US Attorney General Ward in Air Force One.
Mechanical Effects artist Isidoro Raponi passed at the age of 76. His work on special effects and the art department was seen in Alien, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Running Man, The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption, and others. In the spy movie world, he worked on Argo and The Hunt for Red October.
Costume designer May Routh died at age 87. Her work is seen in 30 movies and tv shows. In the spy movie world, she was the costume designer for the 1998 movie, Ronin.
Producer/director Duncan Henderson died at the age of 72. He was nominated for the 2004 Best Picture Academy Award, along with Samuel Goldwyn Jr. and Peter Weir for the movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. In the spy movie world, he was the first assistant director: second unit on the 1985 movie The Man with One Red Shoe.
Well, that wrap’s our June 28, edition of Spy Movie News. Enjoy some spy movies in July!