THE COURIER is a true-life spy thriller, the story of an unassuming British businessman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) recruited into one of the greatest international conflicts in history. At the behest of the UK’s MI-6 and a CIA operative (Rachel Brosnahan), he forms a covert, dangerous partnership with Soviet officer Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) in an effort to provide crucial intelligence needed to prevent a nuclear confrontation and defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Dominic Cooke, the director, always imagined Benedict Cumberbatch playing the part of Greville. As he read the script, Cooke imagined Cumberbatch playing Wynne. They had worked together several times in the theatre and BBC TV’s THE HOLLOW CROWN, based on Shakespeare’s history plays, in which Cumberbatch played Richard III. When Dominic came on board with the film, he did a little pass of the script and it went straight to Benedict.
“Cooke came to meet me about the part and the project. Obviously, I was very keen to work with him again,” says Cumberbatch, who was fascinated by Wynne. “I was intrigued by the arc the character went on. As our discussions continued, I said I’d love to augment the process by helping to produce it with SunnyMarch alongside my producing partner Adam Ackland.” SunnyMarch’s Ackland was excited to be working on an espionage tale. “We were not looking to make a spy thriller,” Ackland says. “We just happened to find a great story in that genre featuring good characters, gravitas, and humanity.”
“This guy goes on an extraordinary journey,” continues Cumberbatch. “From being an ordinary businessman, one who is quite severely dyslexic, almost to the point of illiteracy, to being a conduit for the West to get the most important bit of secret information during the Cold War and The Cuban Missile Crisis.”
The British actor has always been intrigued by tales of espionage. Cumberbatch adds; “Spies are interesting meat and drink for actors because there’s always mask play and role play and the shifts are very sudden and quick.”
The film release has been delayed due to cinema closures during COVID. Release is now set for the 13th August in UK cinemas. It promises to challenge, move, educate and capture its audience. For more information on the film please visit www.thecouriermovie.co.uk