Spy Movie News – December 28 2022 – A Spy Among Friends, Paradox Effect and more!

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A Spy Among Friends, Ballerina, Spy x Family, Treason, Paradox Effect, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, and East Side are some of the upcoming spy movies or series that we’ll fill you in on today in our Spy Movie News – December 28 2022 edition.   

As per usual, you can listen to our Spy Movie News – December 28 20022 edition podcast episode here if you would prefer to listen instead of read.

Before we start, we want to wish you all a Happy New Year.  Where did 2022 go? Wow.

Ok, let’s get into it. 

Upcoming Spy Movies and Television Shows

A Spy Among Friends

For some of you, this won’t appear as an upcoming show as it premiered in the UK on ITVx on December 8th. However, it won’t hit here in the US until early 2023 on MGM+, formerly Epix.  A Spy Among Friends is based on Ben Macintyre’s book of the same name.  It is a dramatization with name changes, new characters, etc. 

We’ve watched this 6-part series and liked it a lot. The cast is brilliant with Anna Maxwell Martin playing Lily Thomas, Damian Lewis playing Nicholas Elliott, and Guy Pearce playing Kim Philby.  Yes, that Kim Philby.  And, in case you didn’t know Nicholas Elliott, what happens in this movie is a dramatic interpretation of his role with Philby.  But, Elliott was also the person who arranged for Lionell Crabb to surveil Khrushchev’s cruiser in 1956.  Crabb was the focal point in the 1958 movie The Silent Enemy that we decoded in our July 7, 2020 podcast episode.

Anyway, this series is a look at both the friendship of Nicholas Elliott and Kim Philby as well as covering some of the details of Philby’s defection.  Again, a lot of the series is based on facts, but it is a dramatization.  The acting is brilliant.  I’ve never seen Damian Lewis in anything that I didn’t like.  He knows how to pick what to sign up for. And he doesn’t fail us with this performance either.

One nice touch for us is that there is an uncredited role of Dutch spy, Peter Tazelaar. He comes out of a pool and is greeted by none other than Ian Fleming.  When he takes off his diving suit, he is wearing a tuxedo.  Well, this spy was the inspiration for part of the pre-title sequence of Goldfinger.  If you want to find out the tie-in to Goldfinger, you can listen to our podcast Episode from March 16, 2022, to find out the details.

Anyway, we recommend this series and for the US-based folks, this should be on MGM+ soon.


In our November 29th Spy Movie News, we talked about the upcoming movie Ballerina.    We also told you that Keanu Reeves will be in this along with Anjelica Huston.  This is a spin-off of the John Wick series of movies and stars Ana de Armas.  Well, an article on CinemaBlend.com tells us that the cast is even more flushed out with Gabriel Byrne, Catalina Sandino Moreno, and Lance Reddick also signing on up.  This is a very good cast so we’ll see where they take it.

Spy x Family

We like this next one because it is a bit different. The popular manga series Spy x Family is expanding by not only just adding a second season but a movie too.  This could be cool. If you aren’t aware of the series, it is a story of an undercover spy who forms a family to provide cover.  It has a TV-14 rating.  There isn’t much out about the movie yet, but, like the series, it is expected to be in Japanese with English dubbing. The series was released on TVTokyo.  Crunchyroll is where to go to stream it. 

We don’t have a release date for the movie, but it is expected to release in 2023.

Atomic Blonde 2?

We’re fans of the 2017 movie Atomic Blonde, starring Charlize Theron.  We also are hoping to see an Atomic Blonde 2.  Well, Mike Reyes published an article where he talks with Kelly McCormick.  She’s the producer of both the movies Nobody and Atomic Blonde at 87North Productions.   

Mike asked Kelly about sequels for both of these movies.   Kelly made it sound like Nobody 2 is in the works but was a bit noncommittal about Atomic Blonde 2.  She didn’t say yes or say no, but couched her answer by being more direct about Nobody 2 being further along.  So, we’ll have to see if she was just being coy or if something is really happening.  We hope they do create an Atomic Blonde 2.   We know we’d like that.

You can read Mike’s article which has a clip of part of the interview here, on cinemablend.com

Paradox Effect

Another spy movie in the works will star Olga Kurylenko and Harvey Keitel. An article on deadline.com describes the plot like this.  “an innocent woman (Kurylenko) is forced to confront a dangerous kingpin (Keitel) who has kidnapped her young daughter and is holding her for ransom. She teams up with a corrupt Interpol agent, whose son is also being held hostage, to rip off various criminals to raise the ransom to save their offspring. Together they have one hour to save their families from the wrath of Keitel’s character.”

Like Damien Lewis who we talked about earlier, Keitel is one of those actors who has more hits than misses. And Kurylenko we liked as Camile in the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace.  And we’ll talk about her later in this newscast as well.

Production is expected to start in January 2023.  It currently does not have a release date.

Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre

Ok, so let’s talk about one of the most bizarrely advertised spy movies in recent times.  Of course, we’re talking about Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre. This was the movie that was supposed to be released in early 2022 but was pushed back.  At the time we were hearing that it was pushed because the bad guys in the movie were supposed to be Ukrainian.  The Russian invasion of Ukraine happened right before the expected release date so pausing for that reason made sense.

But, now we are reading in some places that this movie will release in a week, on January 5th, in some locations, hitting the US on January 12, 2023. Maybe.  Those dates come from IMDB.

Um, you would think that there would be some promotion around a Guy Ritchie movie starring Jason Statham, Aubrey Plaza, and Hugh Grant, but we’re getting crickets.  If you go to the Miramax and STX Films websites, there is nothing but the trailer.   There is no release information at all.  The trailer looks great.  Even the “official site” Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre | Official Website | 01 January 2023 just says “Coming Soon”.  So what gives? 

Well, Guy Ritchie, the movie’s director commented on this at the Red Sea International Film Festival in early December about the release of the movie.  He said “It starts to unfurl in different territories from January. Some are theatrical, some are not. That’s my understanding. That got caught in some administrative hell.  There’s quite a lot of administrative hell, as it turns out, behind the curtain of distribution.”   So, did that give us any clarity?

Well, hopefully, we’ll be able to see this movie in January.  We’re not holding our breath.


The five-part series called Treason just dropped on December 26th on Netflix.  According to Netflix, the tagline for the series is “An Mi6 deputy’s bright future takes a sharp turn after a reunion with a Russian spy forces him to question his entire life.” That sounds good to us.

This series counts Ciarán Hinds, Olga Kurylenko, and Charlie Cox as part of its cast which bodes well for the series. 

We’ve watched this series and there are some good parts and some parts that could have used more development.  If you are an Olga Kurylenko or Charlie Cox fan, this one should work for you.

Mission Majnu

On January 20, 2023, the Indian spy thriller Mission Majnu will release on Netflix both in the UK and the US.  The Netflix tagline for this one is “The untold story of India’s most audacious and daring covert operation in the heart of Pakistan.

The language for the movie is Hindi.  We don’t know yet if it will be subtitled or English dubbed. We’ll let you know when we find out.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning

Well, once again Mission: Impossible team is doing a great job of keeping our attention as we painfully wait for its July 14, 2023 release. Well, that is the release date for  Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One at least.

We wish they would change to a better title, but hey, they keep giving us more glimpses as to what’s coming which helps.   This time, Christopher McQuarrie posted a picture on Instagram thanking South Africa.  He included a picture showing Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character standing on a plane in mid-air.  It’s a great shot.  We think it will be for a scene from Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part Two which is slated to release on June 28, 2024.

In previous newscasts, we’ve talked about the big motorcycle jump that Cruise does in Part One.  Well, they’ve now posted a video on Youtube that discusses and shows us how they did the stunt.  It’s a fun 9-minute video that will make to want to see Part One just to see how it ties into the movie.  You can see the YouTube video here.

East Side

Ok, this one might be a bit obscure.  East Side is an Israeli movie due out in 2023 on the local station Kan 11.  However, Fremantle owns distribution on this but nothing has been announced about distribution outside of Israel.

Anyway, East Side is a name that has been used for multiple movies, but this time we’re talking about the Israeli movie.  According to an article on Deadline.com:

East Side follows Momi, an ex-Secret Service agent-turned-fixer who plays by his own rules as he brokers shady property deals between the Arab residents of East Jerusalem, and the powerful Jewish groups trying to take control of the area by whatever means possible. Brooding and well-connected, Momi slips between communities with ease. But behind his cool facade, the deadly consequences of his double-dealing are taking their toll, and at the center of his world is 18-year-old autistic daughter Maya.”

I hope we can see this movie here in the US at some point.  I have an autistic brother and understand the pressures of raising an autistic family member.  Coupling managing double-dealing in the espionage world with raising an autistic child is something I want to see how they deal with..

James Bond

Our friends at The Spy Command tell us that the Ian Fleming Foundation is pushing the 70th anniversary of the publication of Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel, “Casino Royale”.

The Ian Fleming Foundation also says that new editions of the Fleming originals will come out with new covers.

So, if you love the James Bond novels, 2023 will be a fun year for you.

Industry News For Spy Movie News – December 28 2022 Edition

Michael Denering

We all know the importance of Art Direction in movies, especially spy movies.  Well, in February Michael Denering will be awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Art Directors Guild. He is known for his painting in several movies.  Among his 60 movie credits, spy movie fans have seen his work in Charlie’s Angels (2000), Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003).

In Memoriam

Michael Reed

Cinematographer Michael Reed has passed at 93.  Among his 50+ credits is one spy movie fans love.  He was the cinematographer of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

An article on Reed on mi6-hq.com tells us that Reed first became involved with the James Bond series with Goldfinger when he covered the 2nd unit’s work as Ted Moore and Guy Hamilton had to fly to the US to film the Fort Knox scenes.

Diane McBain

Actress Diane McBain has passed at 81. Probably best known for her work in the movies Spinout and The Delta Factor, as well as the “Batman” television series, McBain also had roles on the television spy series “Charlie’s Angels”, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E”, and “The Wild Wild West.”

Cliff Emmich

Cliff Emmich has passed at the age of 85.  Among his almost 100 credits is his role as the out-of-control bus driver in Inspector Gadget.

Tom’s Rant For Spy Movie News – December 28 2022 Edition

I’m Mad

So, this month my rant will be a bit short but this one really frosts me.  I mean it really, really makes me mad.  Now, I’ll start this by saying I’m not a lawyer.  I’m a movie fan.  I’m not giving a legal opinion here.  This is just my reaction to a stupid lawsuit and what I think is a stupid judge.

What’s up with the judge?

Here in the US, Judge Steven Wilson has allowed a lawsuit to continue.  Now, this isn’t an “I-was-totally-wronged-and-lost-a-million-dollars-type of lawsuit”.  No, here are two, what I consider idiots, who paid $3.99 each to watch the movie Yesterday. They claim they have been wronged to the tune of $5 million. Maybe they are brilliant because the judge, in my opinion, is an idiot as well.

What is the crime?

So, what was the heinous crime?  Only that the trailer showed Ana de Armas playing a character named Roxanne.  The problem was that between the trailer’s release and the movie’s release, the character Roxanne had been cut from the movie.

This is just stupid

Oh, be still my beating heart. These two idiots supposedly only watched the movie to see de Armas, on a streaming service no less.  And, they weren’t smart enough to check the credits before purchasing if that’s the only reason they watched?  And this is the basis of a $5 million lawsuit?  Paleeze.  This is one of the things wrong with the legal system in the US.  How could Judge Steven Wilson allow this suit to continue?

What are some of the ramifications if the plaintiffs win?  Let’s say a movie like Operation Fortune that we talked about earlier released its trailer (which it did) and then oh, a global pandemic hits and Russia invades Ukraine.  Hmm, they pulled the release for the movie back.  Now if one of their actors had been canceled with today’s cancel culture (which didn’t happen here), is the studio stuck having to include their scenes if they appeared in the trailer?  I just don’t get it.  Plus, things get cut in editing.  We all know that.  When I see a trailer, I don’t expect that 100% of what I see I’ll see in the final cut.  Trailers come out early to generate hype.

I hope the plaintiffs lose

I hope that in the end these guys lose this suit and have to pay legal fees.  Lots of legal fees.   Movie producers and moviegoers are going to suffer if these guys win.  Trailers won’t be able to be released until after the final editing is done.  Movies won’t be able to be hyped because no one will want to take the risk.

If the movie companies lose this one, I think they should take whatever was shown in the trailer and show it as a post-credit scene clip.  They would then be able to claim it was shown. This is just stupid.

So, let’s make sure we call these guys out.  Peter Michael Roza and Conor Woulfe, I hope you lose your suit because it is dumb.  And Judge Steven Wilson, shame on you for letting this continue. I think you should have tossed it. Allowing a  $5 million lawsuit on a $3.99 movie. Really?  That’s just total BS and I think you should all be ostracized for being jerks.

And that’s this month’s rant.

And, that’s a wrap!   Thank you for reading our Spy Movie News – December 28 2022 Edition. As usual, you can send us a comment at info@spymovienavigator.com. Please help us out and Subscribe to our show, Cracking the Code of Spy Movies through your favorite podcast app! 

Spy Movie News – July 26 2022 – Blackbird, Kingsman 3, Sicario 3, The Gray Man

Podcast Episode

Spy Movie News – July 26 2022 – Blackbird, Kingsman 3, Sicario 3, The Gray Man

Learn about what's streaming and in the theater, BLACKBIRD, KINGSMAN 3, THE GRAY MAN 2, SICARIO 3, SPY KIDS and more.

Here is our Spy Movie News for 7/26/2022. We discuss the August releases of spy movies. We’ll look at some ongoing projects like Blackbird, Kingsman 3, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One, The Gray Man 2, Sicario 3, Spy Kids, and take a quick look back at Austin Powers in Goldmember and True Lies.

Be in the know in 16 minutes and be up-to-date on the spy movie industry!

Comments: info@spymovienavigator.com

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Spy Movie News – July 26, 2022

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Here’s our Spy Movie News for July 26 2022!

This article discusses the August 2022 releases of spy movies and we’ll look at some ongoing projects like Blackbird, Kingsman 3, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One, The Gray Man 2, Sicario 3, Spy Kids, and oh, Happy 60th Birthday Tom Cruise.

Let’s start by looking at what’s coming in spy entertainment in August 2022.

We are in the summer doldrums here and our pickings for new or re-released spy movies are pretty slim. 

August Theatrical Spy Movie Releases

On August 12, IFC Films will release Rogue Agent both in theaters and on AMC+.  Their synopsis of the movie is: “The chilling true story of conman, Robert Freegard, who posed as an undercover MI5 agent kidnapping countless victims amidst a high-stakes manhunt until the woman who fell for him brought him to justice.”

We like seeing true spy stories brought to the screen.   The twist of having the MI5 agent just being a conman and not a real agent sounds intriguing to us. We’ll be checking this one out.

Ok, we had to stretch a bit for this next one.   On August 5th, we’ll see the theatrical-only release of Bullet Train.  This isn’t technically a spy movie, but it looks like it has a feel of a spy movie.

According to the Sony Pictures website:

“In Bullet Train, Brad Pitt stars as Ladybug, an unlucky assassin determined to do his job peacefully after one too many gigs gone off the rails. Fate, however, may have other plans, as Ladybug’s latest mission puts him on a collision course with lethal adversaries from around the globe—all with connected, yet conflicting, objectives”

Streaming Spy Movie Releases for July

This list is very sparse.  Come on streamers, give us spy fans more to watch.


On August 5th Netflix will add:

Carter – This Korean Netflix original movie sounds like it has a bit of a Bourne feel to it.  The synopsis of this one is: Agent Carter wakes up one day in a motel room without any recollection of his identity and follows orders to join an explosive mission.

Skyfall – Also on the 5th, Netflix will re-release Skyfall for streaming.

Then on August 8th, they will release another Netflix Original Film, the Spanish movie – Code Name: Emperor.  This movie Follows Juan, an agent working for the intelligence services, who also reports to a parallel unit involved in illegal activities.


Hulu will rerelease the 1993 movie In the Line of Fire on August 21st.


HBO Max has no new spy movie releases in August, not new releases or re-releases.

And that’s pretty much it for August.  So let’s now look to the future.

Upcoming Spy Movies

Spy Kids

We’ve mentioned the Spy Kids reboot that is being developed for Netflix in past Spy Movie News editions.  Billy Magnussen, who played Logan Ash in No Time To Die, has signed on to the Spy Kids reboot.  So this cast is really taking shape.  We can’t wait to see the finished product.

Kingsman 3

An article on movieweb.com gives us some insight (maybe) into Kingsman 3.  We’ll call it Kingsman 3 as that is what the article uses.  We know the name will change.  This is expected to be the last of the Eggsy and Harry Hart arc of the series.  It is not expected to be the last Kingsman movie, however.  It will just be the last with Eggsy and Harry. 

We remember that Eggsy and Harry weren’t in the most recent movie in the series The King’s Man.  That movie was a prelude to the Eggsy and Harry arc.  It hinted at more arcs in the series.   We like this as this is a series about an organization, not a person. People can be replaced or killed as part of the design. 

Mission: Impossible is in a similar position to the Kingsman series as it is technically about the Impossible Mission Force, not Ethan Hunt.  So, they can take that series forward if they want, even if Ethan Hunt dies or retires in Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning part one or part two.  This avoids the problem that the Bond series has entrapped itself with.  These two series can go on easily unlike Bond.

So, here’s why we said maybe at the beginning of this discussion.  Here is Taron Edgerton’s quote from the article:

“My understanding is that we are to be shooting the third installment in my saga I believe next year. But you know, don’t listen to what I say because I don’t really know. You know, they’re grown-up decisions.” 

Edgerton does go on to say “there is a script”.

So, he hedges while giving us a clue.  Let’s hope he’s right as we like this series and would like to see more.  We need a replacement for James Bond and this one works.

The Gray Man

We have three things to discuss about The Gray Man which was just released in July on Netflix and in limited theaters.  As we’ve talked about before, the hope is that this movie will launch a series of movies based on Mark Greaney’s book series.

The Gray Man has some great chase scenes.  An article in Variety discusses how COVID affected the shooting in terms of locations.   Our favorite quote comes from production designer Dennis Gassner: “A rooftop chase scene was assembled from various locations, including a spot in Prague. “If you went to visit it, you wouldn’t find it,” he teases.”   That’s too bad for us here at SpyMovieNavigator.com because we love finding filming locations.  We guess we’ll have to move on to the next location.

Will there be a The Gray Man 2? Well, Ryan Gosling is ready to go on.  In an article by Jonathan Fuge, Gosling says:  “I loved making this film. I’d love to do it again. I’m hoping we can bump Six up to a name status at some point, just for his own sanity”.

The article continues to tell us that “both The Gray Man 2 and a prequel centering on Chris Evans as Lloyd Hansen are already said to be ‘at the very early stage.’ ”

Well, we enjoyed watching this movie and hope they do press on with more from the series.  The prequel on Lloyd Hansen is an interesting take.  He is the antagonist in The Gray Man. We liked his crazy character very much. It would be awesome to get his backstory in a sequel.

And finally, director Joe Russo has been quoted in Variety as saying: If we do continue forward with the story, I can guarantee you that Dhanush’s character will be part of that world moving forward.”  This is great news for us.  We called out Dhanush’s character Lone Wolf in our no-spoiler review of The Gray Man.  His role and Dhanush’s performance were fantastic. [I changed the name here because in the credits he’s called Avik San, but in the closed captioning and in the movie they call him Lone Wolf.]


Some people will finally get a chance to see the Michael Flatley movie Blackbird.  This spy movie has been shrouded in intrigue since it debuted at London’s Raindance Film Festival in 2018. Hollywood reporter.com tells us that at that premier, no journalists were allowed to view it and there were no reviews or audience reactions on Twitter.  Then, like Keyser Söze in The Usual Suspects, it disappeared.

Then, in July 2021, it was the opening night movie at the Monaco Streaming Film Festival.   Oh yeah, and they didn’t stream it. Michael Flatley won the best actor award at the festival for his performance as Blackbird.  He is described as a “troubled, sharply-dressed, James Bond-esque secret agent who retires from the service and seeks solace as the owner of a glamorous nightclub in the Caribbean.”

So, why did we start out saying “some people” will get the chance to see it?  Well, they are releasing Blackbird on September 2, 2022, but only in some theaters in Ireland.

So, the intrigue continues.  We hope nobody wanted a return on their investment quickly.  That said, we think this intrigue might set Blackbird up for a huge payday in the future.  If it does well in Ireland and given its mystique, this could just be marketing genius.

Sicario 3

Expected to get the title Sicario: Capos, Sicario 3 is in development.  This is the third movie in the Sicario series.  The cast hasn’t been announced.

In an article on movieweb.com, we’re told that the story will likely pick up from the Sicario: Day of the Soldado, ending.  Black Label Media is the producer and has confirmed that “the movie should enter production this year”.   It also quotes actor Josh Brolin, who has appeared in the previous two installments as saying that the script has been “written and rewritten”.  And, he joked “we may be 80” when they finally do film it.  Given that Brolin is only 54, let’s hope that was a joke.

Mission: Impossible

Ok, so we still have a year to wait for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One.  We still can’t believe that’s the title they came up with. Anyway, there are a couple of news items that caught our attention this month:

Tom Cruise Turns 60

Tom Cruise hit his 60th birthday on July 3rd.  That prompted director Christopher McQuarrie to tweet out a fantastic picture of Cruise doing a stunt for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part Two. Well, maybe it was Part Two.  We’ve also seen an article about this that says it was for Part One.  Either way, check it out.  It is an impressive look at a 60-year-old Cruise still going nuts with his stunts.  You can find it on JoBlo.com 

We don’t think Mickey Rourke and Tom Cruise will be having dinner anytime soon

We’re going to have to sensor this a bit due to the language, but Mickey Rourke lashed out at Tom Cruise on Piers Morgan Uncensored.   Morgan asked Rourke “When you see someone like Tom Cruise, grossing a billion dollars with Top Gun Maverick .. what do you think of that?”

“That doesn’t mean (bleep) to me,” Rourke said about the film’s success. “The guy’s been doing the same effing part for 35 years. … I got no respect for that. … I don’t care about money or power. I care about… when I watch Al Pacino working or Christopher Walken, and De Niro’s early work and Richard Harris’ work and Ray Winstone’s work, that’s the kind of actor I want to be like. …A lot of guys that tried to stretch as actors.”

Piers pressed Rourke and asked him “you don’t think Tom Cruise is a good actor” to which Rourke replied, “I think he’s irrelevant”. 

Wow, coming from a guy who’s had a hit-or-miss career, including one Oscar nomination while Cruise has 3, that is quite a statement. Yeah, we should probably keep these guys apart for a while. You can catch the interview on Twitter.  There is a link to it on Variety.com

Looking Backward

Two articles caught our attention this month looking back at older spy movies.

Austin Powers

In celebrating the 20th anniversary of Austin Powers in Goldmember, Vulture gave us an oral history of Beyonce and her role as Foxxy Cleopatra.  Makeup artist Kate Briscoe gave us some background on the making of one of the movie posters.  Beyonce thought it made her look too skinny.  Brisco said:

“When we were shooting, someone brought her a poster that would be promoting the movie,” Biscoe said. “He showed it to her, like, ‘Do you like it?’ And she was kind of like, ‘Yeah.’ He goes, ‘What’s the matter?’ And she says, ‘You made me too skinny. It’s not me.’ Then she did this hourglass shape. And he said, ‘Okay, we’ll fix that.’”

Briscoe continued, “She walked away to go do the scene, and I looked at him and smiled, like, ‘Is that the first time that you’ve ever had an actress ask to make her body bigger?’ He was like, ‘Yes. It’s going to cost me thousands of dollars, but I am going to do it.’”

We applaud the decision to both change the poster and to tell us about it.  Great job.

True Lies

Ok, this one looks back and forward.  We’ve already told you that there is an upcoming tv series based on the movie True Lies

Well, the movie just hit its 28th anniversary this year is True Lies.  Jamie Lee Curtis starred as Helen, along with Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Jamie Lee recently discussed one of the stunts from the movie.  Namely, the stunt where she hangs off a helicopter in the movie. She credits her stunt double Donna Keegan but says one shot required Curtis to be wired to a helicopter.  The article has a picture from the movie, and one of the stunts being performed.  It’s nice work and it is fun to get a behind-the-scenes look at a very cool scene. You can check it out in this article on Movieweb.com.

In Memorium

Monty Norman

Well, the James Bond family lost a very important member of its history.  Monty Norman passed away at the age of 94.  

Norman created the James Bond theme that was then arranged by John Barry.  There were disputes how much Norman contributed versus John Barry, who orchestrated the Bond theme for the movie.  Yet, Norman is credited with writing it.  He also penned ‘Underneath the Mango Tree’ for Dr. No.

We can’t imagine James Bond without his theme.

James Caan

Probably best remembered for his roles in The Godfather and Misery, the prolific actor James Caan passed away at 82.  Spy movie fans may remember him playing The President in the 2008 movie Get Smart.  Caan also appeared in two episodes of the ‘Get Smart’ tv series in 1969.

Gregory Itzin

Gregory Itzin has passed at the age of 74.  He is most known for his role as President Charles Logan on the television series ‘24’.  He also played Henry Wilcox on the CIA-based tv series ‘Covert Affairs’.

David Warner

And finally veteran English actor, David Warner has passed at the age of 80.  Among his 228 IMDB credits, he starred in Titanic and The Omen, and several Star Trek productions .  Spy Movie fans may remember him from the 1992 movie Spies Inc., the 1978 remake of The Thirty Nine Steps,  or Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming where Warner played Admiral Godfrey.

So, that’s a wrap!  This has been the July 26, 2022 edition of our Spy Movie News. Please subscribe to our show – Cracking the Code of Spy Movies – in your favorite podcast app and on YouTube.  Tell your friends about us – Share info about our show on your own social media – Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too!   All the links are on our website.  SpyMovieNavigator.com –  Thanks for listening – we appreciate it!

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Here’s our September 15 2020 edition of Spy Movie News with the latest updates on Mission: Impossible 7, Red Notice, Five Eyes, TENET, The Duke, NO TIME TO DIE, and some Idris Elba and spy industry news. 


  • Let’s start with some Mission: Impossible 7 news. We know that Tom Cruise has been in England on some rented land practicing stunts for the movie Mission: Impossible 7
  • From a Cinemablend.com article, Christopher Mcquarrie, the director says filming has started up again.  And he and released the photo that shows a huge ramp.  This will be used for a stunt with a motorcycle launching off this ramp which is probably 600 feet in the air. It’s something to see if you haven’t seen it yet.  
  • According to independent.co.uk, Mission: Impossible 7 filming in Norway.  Tom Cruise rented a £ 500,000 cruise liner. That’s about $645,000. And this is for the crew and the stars, to prevent further delays and to protect them from COVID-19. So this is clever.  Expensive but clever. Bravo, Tom Cruise you are Top Gun. 


  • The Netflix movie Red Notice has some news.  In March, shooting was postponed because of the COVID-19  pandemic. In August 2020 they announced the shooting would start back up in mid-September. So here we are.  According to cinemablend.com, it looks like they are back on the set.  They are being vigilant about making sure that anyone arriving back on the sets for filming is COVID-19 free through testing and so on. No other details were available, but Ryan Reynolds posted pics of him taking the COVID-19 test and said it was easy.
  • Good to hear Hollywood is being careful.


  • Speaking of Netflix, they’re investing 200 million dollars, according to theverge.com, on a movie based on Mark Greaney’s, “The Gray Man” series of books.  The movie will be about a former CIA agent who was an assassin, also called The Gray Man, starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans. And Chris Evans would be the CIA agent who’s on the hunt for The Gray Man.
  • Netflix hopes to build a franchise out of this first movie. We don’t know much else about the movie other than what was reported, but sounds a little like Bourne doesn’t it? Hey, no release date yet. Production should start next year. Check theverge.com for all the details.

Five Eyes

  • From deadline.com we see that German major Leonine has won the rights to the recently announced Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie spy thriller, Five Eyes.  This marks the first major deal to go down during Toronto’s virtual market. According to the article, in this spy thriller, Statham will play an MI 6 guns-and-steel agent recruited by the Global Intelligence Alliance,’ Five Eyes’.  His mission will be to track and stop the sale of a deadly weapon that threatens to disrupt the world order.  Reluctantly paired with a high tech CIA expert, he sets off on a globe-trotting mission to infiltrate a billionaire arms broker.
  • Principle photography is due to start in October 2020 in Europe. Additional casting is underway. 
  •  In a related article in collider.com, they say that Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie are teaming up again for Five Eyes. They say Statham’s character, the MI 6 agent, will be named Orson Fortune, who is paired with CIA agent Sarah Fidel. This is the fifth time Statham and Ritchie are working together.  And the article says, hey, this is an appropriate title then, Five Eyes. Oh wait, there are two of them. Shouldn’t the title be Ten Eyes? (groan)


  • Yahoo has a review of the Kyoshi Kurosawa movie, Wife of a Spy, which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. 
  •  The review makes it unclear if the movie is really a spy movie.  But there are bioweapons,  smuggled reels of surveillance footage, and forged letters.
  •  The author appeared to not want to give away the film, which of course, hey, that’s a good idea. 
  • This movie is seeking US distribution.


Here’s an update on TENET from Europe and the US.

  • Hollywoodreporter.com reports that while the domestic box office launch for Warner Brother’s TENET has widely been described as tepid, one analyst said he sees it as a good sign. “We actually view the results as encouraging and a positive indicator of demand. Given all of the COVID-19 headwinds.  That’s what B Riley, analyst Eric Wold wrote in a Monday report.
  • The analyst echoed Warner Brothers’ argument that it was a promising sign that TENET this weekend dropped just 29% from the 9.4 million earned during the September 4th through the 6th weekend. Even though that isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison since the film rolled over the long Labor Day weekend and is now playing in 100 more theaters.
  • According to deadline.com, one of the offshoots of the release of tenant has Warner Brothers, who has both TENET and Wonder Woman 1984, pushing Wonder Woman 1984 to a Christmas release.  Part of the speculation is that the original early October release might have competed with what Warner Brothers hopes will be an early October reopening of theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Warner Brothers will release TENET in those cities if they do open up.  They didn’t want to have Wonder Woman 1984 compete with it.
  • Also, 30% of the nation’s theater space in the US is still closed down due to the pandemic.  If TENET doesn’t open in New York in LA, Warner Brothers might not want to open another blockbuster to only 70% of the US market. In addition, the spot opened up once, the movie Top Gun: Maverick had its release pushed to July 2021. 
  • So what does this portend for the November 6th and 20th release in the US of Black Widow and NO TIME TO DIE respectively? Well in terms of NO TIME TO DIE,  in an article on express.co.uk, they’re wondering about the release date. In a compelling statement, they suggest that
  • Wonder Woman 1984 has moved from its October 2nd release to Christmas Day.
  • MGM’s Candyman has been delayed indefinitely from the same month to 2021
  • The same studio, MGM, has the movie NO TIME TO DIE, which is internationally distributed by Universal Pictures.

So what does this mean? Read their article for more info, but it does make one wonder!  And they point out we should take another look at the most recent movie poster release for NO TIME TO DIE. Anything about the date pop out? Check out their article.


  • Movieweb.com has an article on an upcoming espionage movie starring Idris Elba.  The movie is untitled, but will release on Apple TV plus.
  • So it isn’t James Bond, but Elba will have another spy movie leading role. 
  •  Not much else has been said about the movie other than it’s being called a “spy movie with romance” and is set in Africa.

Let’s hope it’s not a romance movie like director John Woo called Mission: Impossible II. Let’s also hope it’s a better movie than Mission: Impossible II.


  • Digitalspy.com has an article quoting Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding, saying that the next James Bond movie is an “opportunity for change, be it female, male, BI gay, straight, trans, Asian, Black, Latina.
  • He ducks the question of if he’s been approached for the role.


  • We’ll end with a story about a movie that isn’t technically a spy movie.  But the story it tells had a slight influence on the first James Bond movie, Dr. No.  In our podcast on Dr. No, we talked about how EON Productions brought a bit of the real world into the movie.
  • In one scene when James Bond is in Dr. No’s lair, he passes a portrait,  “The Duke of Wellington” by Goya. He stops and takes a quick look.   That portrait in real life had been stolen from the National Gallery in London before the filming of the movie. EON Productions added that touch of reality.
  • At the Venice Film Festival, the movie The Duke, starring Helen Mirren, Matthew Goode, and Jim Broadbent, was shown.  The topic of that movie, the theft of the Duke of Wellington portrait. The movie has an expected UK release in 2021.

So that’s it for this edition of Cracking the Code of Spy Movie News.  Be sure to check out our website, SpyMovieNavigator.com, and our podcasts on your favorite podcast app,  we have a YouTube channel too.  Tell your friends about us.

We’ll catch you in the next edition of Spy Movie News.

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Spy Movie News Sept 15 2020: RED NOTICE, FIVE EYES, M:I 7, THE DUKE, TENET, NTTD

Listen to our September 15 2020 edition of Spy Movie News with latest updates on Mission Impossible 7, Red Notice, Five Eyes, Tenet, The Duke, No Time to Die - and some Idris Elba and spy industry news!

Spy Movie News Article – Sept 1 2020: NO TIME TO DIE., M: I 7, TENET, THE KING’S MAN

Related: Spy Movie News Article – Sept 1 2020: NO TIME TO DIE., M: I 7, TENET, THE KING’S MAN

Contributed by: Spy Movie Navigator

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Here’s our September 1st, 2020, edition of Spy Movie News where we are Cracking the Code of Spy Movies with the latest updates on TENET, Mission: Impossible 7, and NO TIME TO DIE,  plus we look at some industry trends.


  • In breaking news, we have confirmed that TENET did open in England on August 26 and was planned to open in over 20 additional countries on that same date. And it has a scattered release plan through the September 18th release in Japan. It officially opens September 3rd in the United States, but early access showing started August 31st. 
  • Tom Cruise was seen going to the pre-screening of TENET in England, so there you go.
  • Our co-host in the UK, Vicky Hodges saw TENET the day it opened in the UK, August 26th.  We have a no-spoiler podcast out on it, released August 28th. Check it out, here. It’s a fun 8 minutes and has no spoilers.
  • Variety.com reports that TENET had a strong opening for the weekend in Europe with box office sales at $53,000,000 for a film that cost $200 million to produce.   They quote Toby Emmerich, Warner Brothers Pictures Group chairman as saying: “We are off to a fantastic start internationally and couldn’t be more pleased.”  See Variety.com for the full story. 


  • Disney didn’t wait to see what would happen with TENET or Disney’s own, The New Mutants which they released last weekend. Disney pushed The King’s Man to 2021. 
  • Interestingly, they announced this the day before The New Mutants hit theaters. This does make one wonder if Disney plans to push back Black Widow from its November 6th release.   We’re guessing ticket sales for TENET will have a big impact on that decision.
  • It also makes us wonder what 2021’s release schedule will look like. Will all the movies that have been pushed to 2021 have an impact on the movies scheduled for later in 2021? Might they be pushed to 2022?  Mission: Impossible 7,  we’re staring you down for an answer on this one. 


  • Here’s some Mission: Impossible 7 news.   They suffered a little set back after an expensive motorcycle stunt went wrong. Check cinemablend.com for all the news. A motorcycle stunt went wrong as the bike burst into flames, but the stuntman is OK. but it was a well planned and costly stunt that had been in the works for a long time.  And it is now a financial and time-frame set back for Mission: Impossible 7.  This movie is scheduled for release on November 19th, 2021. Reportedly, Tom Cruise was not too happy about the accident.  See Cinemablend.com again for more details. 
  •  In our August 1st edition of Spy Movie News, we mentioned that Mission: Impossible 7 wanted to blow up a 111-year-old bridge in Poland. Now here is an update.  Writer-director Chris McQuarrie said “Mission: Impossible says they would never harm icons or historical landmarks.  They were looking for a bridge that needed to come down somewhere in the world and they were contacted by Poland.  But never a monument. No historically significant monuments would be destroyed. But there is a possibility that a portion of the bridge which is now unsafe would need to come down. See empireonline.com/movies for more info. The Bottom Line is that Mission: Impossible is acting responsibly and working with Poland on what might be possible. 
  • Screenrant reports that Tom Cruise, a certified helicopter pilot, during a break, landed a helicopter near the 9th hole at a golf course in England so he could grab lunch at the clubhouse. How’s that for a stunt? 
  • And here’s another real stunt.  Nme.com reports that Tom Cruise will jump off a motorcycle mid-air for a fabulous action stunt in Mission: Impossible 7.  He’s like 160 feet in the air. Photos at Nme.com and also at thesun.co.uk.  #CruiseisCool.


Let’s move on to NO TIME TO DIE.

  • From “The Spy Command”,  August 18th, 2020 edition: there hasn’t been a whole lot of news for NO TIME TO DIE, but there has been enough to get fans interested. As usual, there are questions. 
  •  You see a lot of licensed product news like the Funko pops and usually, that means that the release is imminent for the film. However, as “The Spy Command” says, who knows if the licensees are really in the know about when the movie will release, so there’s still always a question.
  • “The Spy Command” also reports that there was an investor’s call by MGM with its investors and the chief operating officer said: “yeah, two releases in 2020 are scheduled, but there is a but, and who knows if these releases will slip.” There is always a but.
  • Indiewire.com reported that if there is another slip for NO TIME TO DIE, it is unlikely that the movie will be pushed to summer 2021.  There have been no EON Productions summer releases since Licence to Kill’s release in July 1989.  That movie was not well received great release, coming in 4th at that time. It was the worst opening of any EON Productions Bond film.  So, it’s unlikely that it would be the summer of 2021.
  • Some things that will affect the release, of course, are:
  • worldwide statistics for the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The decisions countries are making concerning theaters opening or not.
  •  Billie Eilish’s recording of the NO TIME TO DIE theme song was a first for James Bond films.  It was recorded at her home studio and not in a traditional recording studio Read all about it at cinemablend.com
  • And also at cinemablend.com: there is a new image of Rami Malek’s character, Safin, which was also released on Instagram. Check that out. It’s pretty cool.
  • Radiotimes.com reports even this summer that Cary Fukunaga is not tweaking NO TIME TO DIE.  He says he had mentally and emotionally finished the film in the spring of 2020.   Read the full report at Radiotimes.com. 


  • In general news, some companies are moving filming locations to Canada due to COVID-19.  Other venues being looked at are the UK and Australia.  For The Last Duel, Ben Affleck, the producer and star, is doing this. Will we see more of this? Cnbc.com has an article on this topic.   Will this affect planned releases of movies in the fall of 2020?  We will see. 
  • And a belated Happy 90th Birthday to Sean Connery. Our first 007 from Eon Productions, who was also recently voted the best James Bond in a poll by radiotimes.com.  Timothy Dalton came in at #2 in the poll. 


So that’s it for this edition of Cracking the Code of Spy Movie News.  Be sure to check out our website, SpyMovieNavigator.com, and our podcasts on your favorite podcast app,  we have a YouTube channel too.  Tell your friends about us.

We’ll catch you in the next edition of Spy Movie News.


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Spy Movie News Article – Sept 1 2020:  NO TIME TO DIE., M: I 7, TENET,  THE KING’S MAN

Here's our September 1st, 2020, edition of Spy Movie News where we are Cracking the Code of Spy Movies with the latest updates on TENET, Mission: Impossible 7, and NO TIME TO DIE,  plus we look at some industry trends.

Spy Movie News – Tenet, The King’s Man, Black Widow, & Red Notice – 8/11/2020 Update

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Related: Spy Movie News Article for Oct 1 2020 – No Time To Die!

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We have recorded this article as a podcast.  If you want to watch it,  click here.

This article will update the status of the movies The King’s Man, Tenet, Black Widow, and Red Notice.  We last talked about these movies in this article from April. We’ll also look at a couple of industry changes that will likely have an impact on movie going for the foreseeable future.


(currently set for and August -September release depending on the location)

So, let’s start with Tenet.   This is the Christopher Nolan movie which is supposed to be the first tent pole movie released in the US during the pandemic.  What happens here will have ramifications for the industry as a whole.

The release has been pushed numerous times as the movie industry is trying to figure out how to release a movie safely during the pandemic and in a manner in which consumers will still go to a theater.

According to an article by Tom Brueggmann in Indiewire, the current plan for Tenet is a UK release date of August 26, 2020, and in 50 other territories between the 26th and 28th. China’s release date is still unknown, but the movie has been approved there. It will have a US release on September 3rd in select theaters.

Currently, 45 states in the US permit indoor theaters to operate with some restrictions/safety precautions.  Cinemark, Regal, and AMC all have opening dates scheduled by the end of August with wide releases starting on August 21st.   Warner Brothers is re-releasing Inception as well.   From what I’ve read, you should probably watch Inception again before seeing Tenet.  So, as Brueggmann’s article states “even if California and New York couldn’t open and a few other areas besides, more than 80% of the population would still have the potential to see Tenet in an indoor theater.”   We’re eager to see how many people will actually go.  As Seth Rogan said about Tenet in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter: “For a while, it seemed like the answer was to kill his greatest fans,” Rogen told THR. “But that’s not the answer of today, it seems, so that’s good. But we have no idea. We don’t want to be the first to rush into anything.”

We here are SpyMovieNavigator are watching this closely.

The King’s Man

(Currently set for it’s US release in September)

The next spy movie scheduled to be released is The King’s Man, the prequel to earlier Kingsman movies.  This is still scheduled for a September 18, 2020 release date in the US.  We can only imagine that what happens with Tenet will have a huge effect as to whether this date changes.

In an article on this prequel on movieweb.com by Jon Fuge,  Director Matthew Vaughan said that this prequel will lay the foundations for Kingsman 3. Vaughan says: “We’ve put seeds for what’s going to happen in Kingsman 3 all the way back into this. And it’s going to be very different.”

So, while The King’s Man is a prequel it is being used to set up Kingsman 3 (this sounds like Star Wars numbering here).   What I would have called Kingsman 3 is this prequel, maybe you can think of it as Kingsman 1?  Thus the 4th Kingsman movie would be Kingsman 3?  My head hurts when they do stuff like this.


In industry news, two big recent announcements may change theatrical releases for a long time, one by Disney and one by AMC and Universal. Will Black Widow be affected by these announcements?


The first is an acknowledgement of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the movie business.  Disney announced last week that Mulan will no longer have its initial release in theaters.  Instead, they will be releasing it on September 3rd on Disney Plus, but not as a regular part of the service.    In addition to the monthly $6.99 Disney Plus monthly subscription price, if you want to see this movie, you can rent it for $29.99. It will be released theatrically in markets in which access to Disney Plus is not available.  That means you can see it in a theater if you are in a country that doesn’t have Disney Plus.

Initially, we were surprised by the price point.   However, after doing some research, we think the $30 rental price is a fair price for a family movie.   According to Statista.com, in 2019 the average ticket price at North American movie theaters was $9.16 with AMC coming in higher than that.   Let’s make the math easy and call it $10.00 a ticket.   A family of 3 would spend $30 just to see the movie in a theater, not counting the prices of any food and drink you might get.  So the $30 price point seems reasonable.  

Assuming that same number of people who would have gone to the theater buy into this, Disney will make more money than if this was in a theater.   A 2016 article on theweek.com says that US theaters end up paying the studios somewhere around 60% of their proceeds from the box office, up to 90% for a first-run movie.  So to Disney’s bottom line, they would net about the equivalent of just under 5 people going the theater to see the movie at the 60% number. Plus, you need the Disney Plus subscription.  Given the estimate of over $1billion in the expected global box office, this has to really hurt theaters.

According to an article in Variety, Disney CEO Bob Chapek says that this is a one-time event.  “We’re looking at Mulan as a one-off as opposed to saying there is some new business windowing model that we’re looking at. “

This quote by Chapek is intriguing as Black Widow was pushed back from May 2020 to November 6, 2020, in the US.  MCU fans are now asking Disney to do the same release to Digital strategy for Black Widow as Disney is doing with Mulan.  We’ll see if the “one-off” is a reality or just too good a deal for Disney to not make part of its release model.


The second bit of general movie news is that prior to this Disney announcement, Universal and AMC made a deal to try to quell the fears of straight-to-digital killing the movie theater market.  After Universal released Trolls World Tour on digital on the same day as theaters after the pandemic hit, AMC banned Universal movies from its theaters.   This new deal mends that fence. Universal movies will be in AMC theaters exclusively for at least 3 weekends or 17 days, instead of the old model of 70 days.  Universal can keep a movie exclusively in theaters for longer than that, but 17 days is the new minimum.   Movies will hit the digital marketplace much sooner, but AMC can still survive on the new release.

An August 4th article on CNBC.com by Sarah Whitten talks about how Cinemark and Regal which combined have more theaters than AMC don’t have, nor do they want this deal AMC struck.  So this might get interesting.

It’s also interesting when juxtaposing this news with the Disney news which happened a week later.  First, as we said, a theater may have to pay up to 90% of a first release’s box office to the studio.   At 17 days, they won’t be able to make that much profit from the movie before they lose exclusivity.  Now, they may be able to keep the movie in the theater while it’s available on digital . And I assume they’d have to pay Universal much less than 90% once digital becomes competition. 

That said, I’d rather see Black Widow, The Kings Man, or No Time To Die on a big screen.  They are visual movies.  So, let’s hope this deal helps theaters stay afloat in these changing market conditions.   

Second, with Disney charging for Mulan separate from their subscription pricing, how can movie theaters compete with this?   We’re assuming this “one-off” isn’t going to end up as a one-off and Disney does this more often, and possibly with Black Widow.   How will the movie theater chains react?

Times are changing and it is not just because of the pandemic.  The combined effects of digital distribution with the impact of the pandemic are likely to change the movie industry to a large degree. We think the studios want to accelerate the move to digital and the pandemic is giving them the excuse to do so.  So stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted.


Finally, the release movie called Red Notice has been pushed to 2021.  It doesn’t have a release date yet.

So, there you have the latest news on the current state of spy movies for 2020.  We’ll be shocked if it doesn’t change again with the pandemic. But we hope we get to see at least a couple of these movies this year.

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