|Jane Bond: The American Assassin|
|Producer(s):||Lynne Ramsay, Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson|
|Composer:|| Patrick Doyle (Score)
Lady Gaga (Theme Song)
|Release:||October 3rd 2021(UK) October 9th 2021 (US)|
|Running Time:||116 minutes|
|Box Office:||£1.1 Billion|
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The American Assassin is the second film in the gender-bent series of Jane Bond films, a franchise that takes the place of the long-standing James Bond series.
Gillian Anderson plays the leading character, Agent Jane Bond 007 of MI6. She has no relation to the character James Bond as he does not exist in this franchise's universe. Rooney Mara takes on the title role as trained killer Monica Harvey.
Death is Not Enough was released in November 2019 and was both a commercial and critical success and beat Star Wars Episode IX as the highest-grossing film of the year, taking in £1 billion by the end of the year. A sequel was soon confirmed entitled The American Assassin, with a release date of October 2019. It was also revealed Meryl Streep would be added to the cast as M's FBI counterpart.
Sofia Coppola revealed she wouldn't return to direct, but had chosen her successor in the form of Lynne Ramsay. The script was set to be written by Jane Goldman once again, without Shonda Rhrimes' involvement. Rhimes commented that while she would've loved to have been involved, commitments to her ABC shows Grey's Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder prevented her from doing so.
Emma Watson, Emma Thompson and Colin Firth were all confirmed to return alongside Gillian Anderson, with the latter two taking on a much bigger role in the new sequel. Meryl Streep was revealed to be playing a character, including her name, Connie Wolfburg, and the extent of her role. It was revealed that Streep would play more of a Swedish terrorist associated with Julianne Moore's character, who will also return. Tom Hardy was confirmed as returning along with new cast member Rooney Mara, who would fill the title role.
San Diego Comic Con hosted a 007 panel in 2020, with promise of some exciting casting news. The panel confirmed that Freddie Highmore would be back in the sequel. The panel confirmed that a new fictional British Prime Minister and US President would each be depicted in the new film, portrayed by Kristin Scott Thomas and Tom Hanks respectively. Both characters would be untrustworthy and ruthless, one more than the other, although it was not revealed who. A teaser trailer featuring both Scott Thomas and Hanks premiered at the panel.
Principal photography began in August 2020 and was completed in February 2021. A trailer premiered online on Easter Sunday 2021 to a positive reaction. Viral marketing for the film began in April, in the style of addresses by both the US President and British Prime Minister being hacked by Moore and Hardy's character. The final teaser was a confession video by Rooney Mara's character, informing the viewer that she was going to assassinate two world leaders.
The film premiered in London on September 25th 2021 and was released worldwide the following week on October 3rd. The film garnered positive reviews from critics.
The film opens in Cape Town, Jane Bond (Gillian Anderson) is in the middle of a six month sabbatical from her work at MI6 to holiday with her lover, the Swedish casino magnate Austin McKenzie (Damien Lewis), after a near-fatal second encounter with international terrorist Katriana Simpson (Julianne Moore) in Gothenburg. But while exploring the markets of the town, she has a not-so coincidental encounter with her boss, Agatha Moneypenny (Emma Thompson), who insists she return to London immediately. The credits role and Lady Gaga's "Shot by Love" plays. After reluctantly agreeing, she returns to MI6 with Austin joining her, and agrees to travel to America to participate in a meeting between the new British Prime Minister (Kristin Scott Thomas) and the new American President (Tom Hanks). While there with Melissa (Emma Watson) and Austin, the US Secretary of State is assassinated. We then discover that Katriana has hired an assassin, trained by the infamous Connie Wolfburg, to take out notable figures to gain MI6's attention.
As world leaders begin dropping dead all over the world, the US President arrives in the UK in seek of protection by MI6. It soon becomes apparent that the assassin is in fact the president's long believed dead child, Monica. In a showdown in central London, Monica shoots her father, severely wounding him. Attempting to negotiate the situation, despite Bond's protests, the British Prime Minister is fatally shot by Monica, and she dies in the arms of Moneypenny, who has been summoned to the scene by her daughter. In her dying moments, the PM reveals she was the one who ordered Hector Moneypenny's murder 15 years earlier, and that it was Connie Wolfburg who committed the crime. As the Prime Minister dies, Connie appears from one of the surrounding buildings, and taunts Moneypenny, encouraging Monica to kill her. Just as Monica is about to pull the trigger on Moneypenny, Jane intercepts her and successfully saves Moneypenny's life. Realising she has a fate far worse than death facing her, Connie flees the scene, and Moneypenny chases her all the way to Parliament Square, the site where Connie murdered her husband over a decade earlier. Connie surrenders, but proceeds to knock Moneypenny unconscious and escape with a landing helicopter. The copter then descends on Bond and Monica, who are now surrounded by MI6 agents, the president is taken away in an ambulance and the Prime Minister's body is being taken away. The copter descends and Monica pushes Bond and grabs hold of the ladder dropped by Connie, but Bond grabs her legs and flies away with her.
As Monica climbs into the copter, Jane advances behind her and they scramble mid-air. Connie pulls a gun and shoots, but in the midst fo the scuffle, she shoots Monica instead by mistake, who proceeds to fall from the copter. Bond intercepts Connie, and the copter's driver and forces them to land at the helipad at the former MI5 headquarters. As they land, Connie is taken into custody, but the copter driver removes their ski mask and is revealed to be Katriana. She knocks out Bond, who wakes up in hospital. She is informed by Moneypenny that Connie and Katriana successfully fled, and the fate of Monica is unknown. Weeks pass, and Bond returns to work, Moneypenny reveals they've been summoned to America by the President, who reveals that he has a British terrorist in custody. Delving into the depths of the pentagon, Moneypenny and Bond are introduced to none other than William Bodyman, who reveals he is willing to reveal the location of every member of Katriana's organisation, including Katriana herself, in exchange for immunity. The film ends with Moneypenny and Bond exchanging concerned looks. The film ends by confirming that Jane Bond will return once again in Enigma, and then revealing Part 1. Confirming the current arc will end with a two-part film event. In a post-credits scene, the owner of a Bed and Breakfast tends to a wounded guest, who is implied to be mute. As the camera pans, it is revealed that Monica is alive, barely.
- Gillian Anderson as Agent Jane Bond 007 of MI6
- Emma Watson as Jessica Moneypenny 008 of MI6, Jane's right-hand.
- Emma Thompson as Dame Agatha Moneypenny AKA 'M', head of MI6, she returns to the field to help 007 prevent the assassination of the Prime Minister.
- Meryl Streep as Connie Wolfburg, a retired Swedish assassin who has raised and trained Monica to be a killer since kidnapping her from her wealthy American family when she was six months old. She sells Monica to William, who hires her on Katriana's behalf.
- Colin Firth as Quentin Watersmith AKA 'Q', head of computing and technology at MI6
- Rooney Mara as Monica Harvey, an American trained killer who is hired by Katriana to kill the visiting Prime Minister of Britain. The film's 'Hitman' antagonist.
- Julianne Moore as Katriana Simpson, an orphaned Russian-born American terrorist, the daughter of two Russian agents murdered by British intelligence, she has a vendetta against the government, and after the death of her brother, against MI6 particularly. She escapes British custody with the help of William Bodyman, who introduces her to Monica. She is the film's primary antagonist.
- Tom Hanks as President Laurence Harvey, a corrupted politician who lied his way into The White House, he is also Monica's estranged father.
- Kristen Scott Thomas as Moira Sunderland, Prime Minister of Great Britain and Quentin's former lover, she ordered the murder of Moneypenny's husband 15 years ago, when she was Defence Secretary and Moneypenny was Foreign Secretary.
- Tom Hardy as William Bodyman, Melissa's right hand man and Monica's mentor, he is a former British soldier who abandoned his post after learning British intelligence secrets.
- Freddie Highmore as Evan Moneypenny 009, a homeland agent.