Welcome to our Spy Movie News - November 29, 2022 edition. Face/Off, Darkness of Man, Slow Horses, One Ranger, A Spy By Nature, and The Prize are six of the eighteen upcoming spy movies or series that we’ll fill you in on today. And we will end with Tom's Rant about Daniel Craig.
Upcoming Spy Movies and Series
We have a 18 spy movies and series to discuss so let’s jump right in. As usual, you can go to our website, SpyMovieNavigator.com to find the links to the supporting articles behind this episode.
Darkness of Man
Last year, we reviewed the Jean-Claude Van Damme movie, The Last Mercenary. In fact, we released a quick-fire review of that one. Well, Van Damme has signed on to play Interpol operative Russell Hatch, in Darkness of Man. According to an article in The Hollywood Reporter, Hatch finds himself protecting Jayden and his uncle from a group of merciless gangs in an all-out turf war, stopping at nothing to protect Jayden and fight anyone getting in his way — including supposed allies with hidden agendas and nefarious intents. Filming is set to start in Los Angeles in early 2023. The 62-year old actor has a few projects under way and it's good to see.
In our October 25th edition of Spy Movie News, we’ve told you about how much we like the Apple TV+ series Slow Horses and that its second season is scheduled to release on December 2, 2022. Here’s hoping that this show has a very long run.
It is not just that we like this series. We also really like it’s lead actor, Gary Oldman. Oldman has told The Times “I’ve had an enviable career, but careers wane, and I do have other things that interest me outside of acting,” says Gary Oldman, 64, thoughtfully. “When you’re young you think you’re going to get round to doing all of them — read that book — then the years go by.” “I’m 65 next year, 70 is around the corner. I don’t want to be active when I’m 80. I’d be very happy and honoured and privileged to go out as Jackson Lamb [his character in Slow Horses] — and then hang it up.”
Jackson Lamb is a great role for him to retire from. We just hope Oldman plays Lamb for a few more seasons. He is a fantastic actor.
Mix up some Texas Ranger action and British Intelligence, and you get the upcoming movie, One Ranger. Starring Thomas Jane and John Malkovich, this thriller brings a Texas Ranger to London to stop a terrorist attack. Dean S. Jagger and Dominique Tipper also star in this one. Lionsgate has acquired One Ranger and has not announced an expected release date. You can read more about it on Deadline.com.
A Spy By Nature
So far we’ve been talking about older actors, well, how about a 20-something taking on a spy role? Paul Mescal will be starring in A Spy By Nature. This movie is based on the first novel in the Alec Milius spy series, written by Charles Cumming. In an article on Deadline.com, A Spy By Nature’s director, Kevin Macdonald says “I’ve wanted to make A Spy By Nature for many years – and when I met Paul Mescal, with his beguiling mixture of intelligence, skill, and youth, I knew I’d found the perfect star,” Macdonald said. “This is a very modern spy story – sexy, dangerous, morally ambivalent – and only an actor of Paul’s talent could pull it off.”
Cummings has written 10 other spy movies. Is this a start for a new franchise? In that same article, HanWay Films CEO says “I feel confident we will all want to revisit this young spy in his next adventure with what could be the beginning of an exciting new franchise”
So, let’s see, a young actor taking on a lead role in a spy movie franchise. A movie that actually has a script and a lead actor assigned to it. Um, Eon Productions, are you paying attention here?
The John Wick series is in the process of creating a spin-off called Ballerina. Ana de Armas, who showed us her action movie acting chops in No Time To Die, takes on the lead role. She will be seeking revenge for the murder of her family. Keanu Reeves, who plays John Wick will make an appearance in this one. Also joining the cast are Anjelica Huston and Ian McShane. So, this movie brings in a 30-something lead, De Armas along with some let’s just say “more seasoned” actors. We have not yet seen an expected release date for Ballerina.
Day of the Jackal
“Downton Abbey” producer, Carnival Films, is coming out with a tv adaptation of The Day of the Jackal. Sky television and the Peacock streaming network has commissioned the series. They are calling it a “contemporary reimagining of the beloved and respected novel and film.”
The series is expected to go head to production in the summer of 2003. You can read more about it on Variety.com.
Jack Ryan Season 3
Ho, Ho, Ho! Prime Video will be releasing Season 3 of Jack Ryan on December 21, 2022. Prime is also currently streaming the first two seasons if you need to catch up. Jack Ryan is a series based on the Tom Clancy novels.
So, after making us wait for three-years, John Krasinski is finally back in the lead role. Ryan technically isn’t a spy, by title. He is a CIA analyst who identifies situations and ends up having to deal with them. It is a narrow distinction. Ryan ends up doing a lot of the dirty work.
MovieWeb.com has this article if you want to learn more.
The Ministry Of Ungentlemanly Warfare
Guy Ritchie is directing a World War II spy movie called The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. This movie will star Henry Cavill and Eiza González. We know, it’s shocking that Henry Cavill is starring in a spy movie (yes, that was meant to be a sarcastic statement). Is this yet another Henry Cavill audition for James Bond?
Anyway, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is based on true events following strategies of two well-known strategists: Winston Churchill and Ian Fleming.
The synopsis for the movie says: “The clandestine squad’s unconventional and entirely ‘ungentlemanly’ fighting techniques against the Nazis helped change the course of the war and in part gave birth to the modern Black Ops unit,”. So, we’ll see where this takes us
Guy Ritchie and Arash Amel have based the movie on the 2016 book with the same name written by author Damien Lewis. No slight to Henry Cavill, but it would have been a nice coincidence if actor Damien Lewis took the lead here.
The Face/Off sequel is another movie that we’ve been talking about for a while. We’ve also speculated that Nicolas Cage will return. According to a Hollywood Reporter article, Cage “is in various stages of discussion for sequels to such big productions as National Treasure and Face/Off.” We’re hoping his role in the next Face/Off happens.
Like Jack Ryan, this one isn’t technically a spy movie. However, Martin Campbell is the director. Most spy movie fans will know Campbell directed GoldenEye, Casino Royale (2006), The Foreigner, and The Protégé.
Dirty Angels is a fictional story of a group of female soldiers who need to rescue kidnapped teenagers during the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021. Eva Green who played Vesper Lynd under Campbell’s direction in Casino Royale and Ruby Rose, who has played Batwoman Kate Kane in the DC tv series and Grace Lewis in SAS: Red Notice, star in Dirty Angels.
Filming is expected to start in December 2022.
No, this has nothing to do with Napoleon Dynamite. Operation Napoleon is a low-budget thriller starring Iain Glen. You may remember him as Jorah Mormont in “Game of Thrones”.
The plot focuses on a plane that crashed in 1945 with both German and American officers on board. Ignoring the wishes of the US military, a lawyer tries to dig into the details of the crash and gets involved in an international conspiracy.
Operation Napoleon was made on a $7 million budget and the exteriors were filmed mostly in Iceland and is based on a novel that was a best seller in Germany.
You can read more about Operation Napoleon on The Hollywood Reporter.
Chief of Station
In our October 25, 2022 edition of Spy Movie News we told you that the Alec Baldwin-Olga Kurylenco spy movie, Chief of Station, was heading into production in November. Well, Baldwin has become unavailable due to a schedule overrun of another movie. So, now Aaron Eckhart will be taking on the lead role in this movie. From what we’ve read, production has started on this one.
The Prize is being billed as a “taut Hitchcockian thriller”. We think that is an apt description as it is based on an unwitting American who flies to Sweden for the funeral of a friend. Well, he gets ensnared in a web of corruption and murder. If we think of The Man Who Knew Too Much, The 39 Steps, or many other Hitchcock movies, this has a familiar ring to it. Jason Clark and Haley Bennett star in The Prize. Shooting is expected to start in the spring of 2023.
You can read more about The Prize on Deadline.com.
CIA operative Avery Graves, played by Kate Beckinsale is blackmailed by terrorists to save her husband in the upcoming spy movie, Canary Black. Graves is cut off from her team and has to figure out how to get the kidnappers what they want.
Canary Black is currently in principal photography. Rupert Friend also stars in this thriller.
Dixie Crystal was the name of a real-life FBI Operation. Well, now it is the name of a movie starring Rob Morgan as FBI agent Jim Anderson. If we remember in Licence to Kill, Bond’s objective was to stop Franz Sanchez’s heroin operation.
In Dixie Crystal, Agent Anderson has to take down a drug Kingpin and stop the distribution of methamphetamine from Harlan, Kentucky.
Filming is expected to start in April 2023.
Yet another movie is coming out with the goal of trying to create a spy movie franchise. This time it is Channing Tatum starring in Red Shirt. Not many details have been released on this one. However, we know that David Leitch who directed Bullet Train and Deadpool 2 is signed on to direct Red Shirt. They are touting the movie as “a new spin on James Bond”.
According to movieweb.com’s article about Red Shirt, a redshirt is a character in fiction who dies soon after being introduced. So, is that Channing Tatum? Hmmm. If so, that has sort of a Psycho feel to it where the star dies early on.
We’ll keep our eyes peeled to give you more details about this one as they emerge.
The spec script by April Wolfe for the movie Honey Trapped have been acquired by Studiocanal and The Picture Company.
Deadline.com tells us that “the story follows a cabal of secret assassins who descend upon Las Vegas for 24 hours to force a rogue agent into fighting their way up every floor of a busy hotel. The script is said to be a star-driven two-hander featuring a married couple on the rocks with a lot of secrets—in the vein of Mr. and Mrs. Smith and True Lies.”
If that’s accurate, this could be a fun one to watch.
So yes, we are a long way out before we’ll see Honey Trapped but we like the plot and are eager to see Honey Trapped made.
They Shined on the Nile
Moroccan-born director Yasmine Benkiran is working on a project for a spy movie titled “Elles ont brillé sur le Nil” or They Shined on the Nile. This project is set in 1950’s Cairo and revolves around the mysterious death of a famous actress known as Asmahan.
They Shined on the Nile is still in development, so we’ll have to see what comes of it. You can read more about it on Variety.com.
Whew that’s a lot of upcoming spy movies and series. We’ll have to see how they all play out.
Jennifer Aniston’s father, John Aniston has passed at age 89. Known for his long-running roles on “Days of Our Lives” (over 2800 episodes) and “Search for Tomorrow”, Aniston also had roles in the spy tv series “I Spy” and “Mission: Impossible”.
Actor and set decorator, Ian Whittaker has passed at age 94. Whittaker, along with Luciana Arrighi won the Best Art Direction-Set Direction Academy Award for Howard’s End (1992). He was also nominated for the same category for Anna and the King (1999), Remains of the Day (1993), and Alien (1979).
Spy movie fans may remember Ian Whittaker for his role as Ordinary Seaman Thomas in the 1958 World War II espionage movie The Silent Enemy.
John Dartigue has passed at the age of 82. He was a Warner Bros VP Publicity for movies such as The Fugitive and The Dark Knight. Prior to Warner Bros, he worked in publicity for United Artists where he worked on publicity for the first 10 James Bond movies.
So, we’ll end with Tom’s Rant.
This is Tom's opinion, not necessarily Dan's.
Our friends at The Spy Command had a post talking about the Daniel Craig interview that was in the Los Angeles Times on November 16, 2022. Spy Command put it this way: “Quotes from Craig’s interviews have split Bond movie fans. Craig fans say that shows why he’s a great actor. Craig critics cite this is why he’s selfish.”
Sign me up as a critic
Well, sign me up as a critic. I think the LA Times article was supposed to be hyping Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Craig’s latest movie. Instead, it solidified my opinion of how big a selfish, narcissistic jerk (or whatever pejorative you want to use) Daniel Craig is.
What we are talking about is how Craig thought HE was the one to control what happened to the character of James Bond. And, if you read the LA Times article, Craig says ‘Well, you need to reset again.’ So let’s kill my character off and go find another Bond and go find another story.” What a pompous “it’s all about me” buffoon (I had to try about 10 words here before I found one that was clean enough to use).
It's not just No Time To Die
As I see it, Craig killed the Bond series, not just with the ending of No Time To Die, but how he shaped the character on screen. Yes, part of it was the putrid writing of Purvis and Wade, but Craig ruined the character for me. This is very disappointing as I liked Craig’s Bond in Casino Royale. However, then he changed the character, and not in a good way.
And as Craig says in the article: “You’re making the mistake that I somehow have a plan,” Craig said with a laugh. “I don’t give it that much thought.” … “ I don’t have a game plan. The things that happen in my life professionally, the decisions I make about them are gut, mainly.”
If Craig can kill of a character that had a run time of over 50 years, especially since he says he doesn’t have a game plan what else does he think he can do? And, look at the really ugly predicament he left Eon Productions for going forward. It’s all about him. “If I can’t play him, kill him off”. What a putz.
Why is Craig still doing Bond ads?
Add the fact that Craig is still doing promotions and endorsements for Bond, as pointed out in another The Spy Command post. It all shows it’s about him, Daniel Craig. Craig says he does not “want to go back”. Then leave already, you’ve done enough damage.
Well, it does seem that it was Daniel craig’s idea to kill off Bond for a few reasons – one of which was so that he move on. Well, yeah this is all fiction, and anything can happen in fiction. Nonetheless, you don’t kill off Bond. James Bond.
That’s a wrap! We hope you enjoyed our Spy Movie News - November 29, 2022 edition. You can find the audio of this as a podcast in the show Cracking the Code of Spy Movies on your favorite podcast app or on our website SpyMovieNavigator.com – please help us our and Subscribe!