EXCLUSIVE: Martin Freeman, last seen in the Disney/Marvel blockbuster Black Panther, will star opposite Diane Kruger in the espionage-thriller, The Operative, from director Yuval Adler. Endeavor Content is handling U.S. sales while Bloom will continue to sell the foreign rights in Cannes.
The film follows Rachel (Kruger), a rogue spy from Israel’s feared national intelligence force Mossad, who vanishes without a trace while attending her father’s funeral in London. The only clue to her whereabouts is a cryptic phone call she places to her former handler Thomas (Freeman), who is then summoned from Germany to Israel by Mossad. With Rachel’s life immersed in her assignments as part of a vast espionage effort against Iran’s nuclear program, Thomas must retrace her steps to determine what threats she may now pose to their operation, while also working to protect her.
Adler adapted the screenplay from the Israeli best-seller, The English Teacher, written by former Israeli intelligence officer Yiftach Reicher Atir.
Filming is slated to begin next month in Israel and Bulgaria. Spiro Films’ Eitan Mansuri, Archer Gray’s Anne Carey, and Match Factory Production’s Michael Weber and Viola Fügen are producers. Black Bear Pictures’ Teddy Schwarzman will executive produce and finance. Le Pacte’s Jean Labadie is co-producing the film, which is supported by the Israeli Film Fund, Film and Medienstiftung NRW, MDM and Minitraité.
Freeman, an Emmy winner for his current role as Dr. John Watson in BBC’s Sherlock, is also known for his role as Bilbo Baggins, in Peter Jackson’s film series The Hobbit.
He’s repped by UTA and Creative Artists Management.