Citadel, Pathaan, The Bucharest Dossier, Lioness, Mission: Impossible, The Mole Agent, and Ghosted are just some of the upcoming spy movies or series that we’ll fill you in on today in our Spy Movie News – March 28 2023, edition.
Upcoming Spy Entertainment
We’re going to lead things off by discussing the upcoming Prime Video Russo brother’s spy drama, Citadel. Of all the spy entertainment news we have found this month, Citadel is getting the most press. They released the first trailer which you can watch on YouTube. It looks like we’re going to like this one.
Citadel is a six-episode series starring Richard Madden, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Stanley Tucci. As for the plot, the tagline from the Amazon press site tells us:
April 28, 2023 is the date on Prime Video for the release of the first two episodes. Through May 26, 2023, we get another another episode weekly.
According to movieweb.com, “The plan is for Citadel to launch a "landmark global franchise" for Prime Video. Each Citadel series will be locally created, produced, and filmed in-region in different parts of the world. Prime Video states that series are already underway in Italy and India, respectively, starring Matilda De Angelis, Varun Dhawan, and Samantha Ruth Prabhu.”
So, once again Amazon is trying to develop a spy franchise. Are they hedging their bets against James Bond? We’re seeing a lot of these franchise efforts as we think the industry may be seeing weakness in the James Bond franchise and the likely ending of Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character in the Mission: Impossible franchise next year.
Also, one other comment about Citadel comes from an article on variety.com. Actress Priyanka Chopra Jones told the audience at Austin’s South by Southwest Festival:
“I’ve been working in the entertainment industry for now 22 years and I have done about almost 70-plus features,” she said. “I’ve done two TV shows. But when I did ‘Citadel,’ it was the first time in my career that I had pay parity with my male co-actor. The first time in 22 years. And I wonder that did that happen? “
She was sharing the stage with Amazon Studio’s head, Jennifer Salke. The suggestion is that she finally got pay parity because a woman is leading the studio.
We don’t know if that is the real reason, but we are happy to see it. Pay disparity is an ugly issue and it is good to see that, at least in this case it has been addressed.
The Bucharest Dossier
Ok, so this one is very early in the process. But, the William Maz novel “The Bucharest Dossier” has had its movie and tv rights acquired by Gifford Media Group.
This appears to be yet another attempt to create a franchise around a CIA Analyst. The novel “The Bucharest Legacy" is due to be released in 2023. That will be the second novel in the series.
And, a 4.2 rating on barnesandnoble.com and a 4.3 rating on Amazon tell us that this is a well-received novel. Both of those are out of 5 points so this looks promising.
Physician and author William Maz’s website describes the novel like this:
In December, 1989, Bill Hefflin is a peculiarity in the CIA. Besides being the lead analyst on Eastern Europe, he is also the only analyst running his own mole, code-named Boris, inside the KGB. When Boris demands that Hefflin come to Bucharest to “create” history, Hefflin is forced to confront not only the dangers of a bloody revolution but his own passions for the girl he left behind. … The revolution is obviously controlled by outside forces, and Hefflin must decide whether his own CIA is on the right side of history.
We don’t have any information about the production of The Bucharest Dossier for either a movie or tv. However, we think this announcement is good news. We like when novels are brought to the screen. Especially if they are spy novels. We’ll keep you up to date as we learn more.
The Mole Agent
The Mole Agent may get a new title. But, Netflix has ordered eight episodes of an adaptation of the documentary “The Mole Agent”.
Ted Danson will be the lead. Mike Schur, who wrote this series also worked with Danson on the tv series “The Good Place”.
An article on Variety.com says that “Danson will star as Charles, ‘a retired man who gets a new lease on life when he answers an ad from a PI and becomes a mole in a secret investigation.’”
The documentary debuted at the 2020 Sundance Festival. And, it was nominated for an Oscar for “Best Documentary Feature”?
We’ll let you know more as details get released.
When we first read about the upcoming Apple TV+ movie, Ghosted, we saw it was a rom-com starring Chris Evans and Ana de Amas. We stopped reading. We are Cracking the Code of Spy Movies, after all. Not Cracking The Code of Romantic Comedies. Well, we’re glad we looked again. It turns out that Ghosted is a rom-com-spy-thriller. Ah, this is a spy movie.
The tagline for Ghosted is:
“Salt-of-the-earth Cole falls head over heels for enigmatic Sadie – but then makes the shocking discovery that she’s a secret agent. Before they can decide on a second date, Cole and Sadie are swept away on an international adventure to save the world.”
Apple TV+ released a 3-minute trailer for the movie that you can see on YouTube. Based on the trailer, it looks like Ghosted could be worth watching. That said, we are curious about how long the set-up of this movie will take. The trailer makes it look like it takes a while for Cole to find out she’s a spy. The other thing is that the trailer gives up that fact. Cole is surprised. The trailer and tagline ruin the surprise for us.
This is the third movie that de Armas and Evans have worked on together and they have a very nice on-screen chemistry. Interestingly, Scarlett Johansson was originally cast in the lead role. However, she had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.
Apple TV+ will release Ghosted on April 21 on Apple TV+. Joining Chris Evans and Ana de Armas are Amy Sedaris, Adrien Brody, Tim Blake Nelson, Tate Donovan, and more.
We told you about Kandahar in our January 31st Spy Movie News. This is the upcoming movie starring Gerard Butler and Ali Fazal about a CIA operative sent to dismantle a nuclear weapon. He ends up stuck in Afghanistan and has to get to his extraction point in Kandahar.
Mitchell LaFortune, who was a military intelligence officer, wrote the spec script so hopefully this will have a feel of realism.
The trailer is out and it looks really good. You can watch it on YouTube. The scenery in the trailer looks great. Saudi Arabia was the filming location for Kandahar. So, we’ll be waiting to see what Cinematographer MacGregor does with this one.
Kandahar will release in Russia on May 2023, the United States on May 26, 2023, the Netherlands on June 8th, and Spain on June 16th. – IN THEATERS!!!
Also in our January 31 2023 Spy Movie News, we told you about the upcoming Paramount+ series Lioness.
This month’s news is that Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef will have a guest-starring role. He’s joining Zoe Saldaña, Laysla De Oliveira, Morgan Freeman, and Nicole Kidman, among others.
And, Variety.com tells us that Youssef will play a character named Amrohi who is “a rags-to-riches billionaire businessman with ties to terrorism, building his own fortune by legitimate means before profiteering off the wars that destroy the Middle East he’s spent decades helping to rebuild.”
Let’s hope he can be as good in this shady billionaire role as Hugh Grant was as a billionaire arms dealer in Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre.
We still haven’t seen a release date for Lioness but will keep you posted as we find out more.
Taron Egerton told Collider.com that he expects there will be a Kingsman 3, rumored to be titled Kingman: The Blue Blood. Egerton says :
We like this series and hope they do get this one done.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning
The hype machine is continuing for the upcoming two-part Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning movies. Part One has a US release date of July 14, 2023. We have a few nuggets to pass on about these movies.
A tip of the cap to Top Gun?
Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning: Part Two has filmed something on the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier off the coast of Italy. We don’t know what they filmed, but given that the Top Gun: Maverick actors trained on an aircraft carrier, is there going to be a tip of the cap to Top Gun in Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning: Part Two? We’ll have to wait to find out.
Hannah Waddingham joins the cast
Ted Lasso actress Hannah Waddingham has been announced as an addition to Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning: Part Two. She was reported to have been on the aforementioned aircraft carrier, or a similar one. We don’t know her role yet, but the never-ending casting and filming of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning continues.
Rolf Saxon is back
In the 1996 Mission: Impossible movie, Rolf Saxon played CIA agent William Donloe. He was the guy in the vault who got stomach problems after Claire put that stuff in his coffee.
Well, it looks like he’s back in Part Two. Christopher McQuarrie tells us this in an Instagram post.
So, now we have at least Kittridge and Donloe back. It will be great to see what they do, some 28 years after we first saw them.
Norway Authorities Cancel a stunt
Even Tom Cruise can’t get everything he wants. A stunt that was to be done in Norway got squashed by authorities. They were concerned about wildlife in the area.
"The production was reportedly aiming to film at various locations on Svalbard, a protected archipelago between Norway and the North Pole, but local Norwegian authorities denied requests for a planned 40 helicopter landings due to concerns regarding disruptions to local wildlife..”Screenrant.com
So, it looks like there will be at least one thing Cruise wanted to do that he couldn’t with Part 2.
Initial screen tests question length
Movieweb.com tells us that Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning: Part One has started test screening. Paramount Global’s President, Bob Bakish tells us this about the first screening:
Slow Horses writers
We’re in the heart of awards season and we want to call out “Slow Horses” screenwriter Will Smith and novelist Mick Herron for winning the episodic TV category at the 35th annual USC Libraries Scripter Awards. Thanks to Variety.com for this one. We are big fans of this Apple TV+ series and are happy the writers have been recognized. Congratulations Will and Mick.
Spy x Family
Spy x Family won Best Comedy a the 2023 Crunchyroll Anime awards. We’ve talked about this series in previous Spy Movie News episodes. There is a movie in the works from this series that we are eagerly anticipating. This award heightens this anticipation.
Actor Sam Neil caused quite a stir when an excerpt from his just-released memoir mentioned he was treated for stage three blood cancer. He has since posted a video on his Instagram account letting us know that he’s in remission and still working on a mini-series with Annette Benning.
James Bond fans may know that he was in the running twice to take on the role of James Bond. Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan won those parts.
We wish Sam all the best and hope all goes well for him.
Pathaan breaks more box office records
The movie Pathaan continues to shine at the box office. It has overtaken the Hindi dubbed version of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion in India. Congratulations.
In our no-spoiler review of Pathaan, we talked about how we liked this movie and that it was the first sold-out movie we’ve been to in years.
Israeli actor/producer Chaim Topol passed at the age of 87. Topol is probably best known for his Oscar-nominated performance as Tevye in the 1971 movie Fiddler on the Roof. The 1990 revival of the musical “Fiddler on the Roof” netted Topol a Tony award nomination. He played Tevye in over 3,500 stage performances.
Spy movie fans will remember his great performance as Columbo in the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only.
An article on Spy Command tells us that the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog announced Topol’s death on Twitter. A Google translation of the tweet said of Topol
We couldn’t have said it any better.
Ruben Igielko-Herrlich has passed at 62. You may never have heard of Ruben, but he was a marketing executive who was instrumental in product placement in movies. The Nokia flip phone in The Matrix and the BMW used in chase scenes in Mission: Impossible were two examples of his work.
Actor, writer, director, underwater director and cinematographer, and stuntman Ricou Browning passed at the age of 93. Browning played Gill Man when Gill Man was underwater in The Creature from the Black Lagoon in 1954, Revenge of the Creature in 1955, and The Creature Walks Among Us in 1956.
However, behind the camera, he was known for his direction of underwater camerawork. “Sea Hunt”, “The Aquanauts”, and “Flipper” all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Browning for his work on those shows.
James Bond fans will know his underwater direction in Thunderball and its remake Never Say Never Again.
And, as it is one of our favorite comedies, we wanted to be sure we pointed out that Browning did the underwater sequence in Caddyshack in 1980.
Actor Tom Sizemore has passed at 61. Among Sizemore’s 226 IMDB entries are Saving Private Ryan, Blackhawk Down, Pearl Harbor, and Natural Born Killers.
Spy movie fans have seen Sizemore’s work in Radical, Unkillable, The Martyr Maker, Murder 101, and The Acquirer.
Actor Lance Reddick passed at the age of 60. The television shows “Oz”, “The Wire”, “Fringe”, and “Bosch” all had Reddick performing in at least 12 of their episodes.
Reddick also played Charon in all four chapters of the John Wick movie series. Spy entertainment fans will remember Reddick for his roles in the movies Angel Has Fallen and The Seige. He also played DCI Jeffrey Tatazoo in the television series “Intelligence”.
Film distribution executive Erik Loomis passed at age 64. His career included distribution for MGM, United Artists, and the Weinstein Company with many Oscar winners and blockbusters in his portfolio. Some of the James Bond movies Loomis distributed include GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day, and No Time To Die. “A part of the industry has died with him today” said Barbara Broccoli.
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