In an interview, director Susanna White said of Stellan Skarsgård's full frontal nude scene: "Stellan is very Scandinavian, nudity was not embarrassing for him in any way. We did that scene day two of working together and usually with nude scenes the wardrobe people rush in with towels to cover the actor up, but he didn't want it. I would go in and discuss the scene with him and he would be starkers."
Source novelist John le Carré appears in uncredited cameos in both of the 2016 filmed adaptations of his novels, as a museum guard in Bern in Our Kind of Traitor (2016) and as a diner in episode four of The Night Manager (2016) [See: The Night Manager: Episode #1.4 (2016)].
Stellan Skarsgård replaced Ralph Fiennes who was originally cast in the role of Dima, but Fiennes withdrew from the role. Fiennes starred in the earlier John le Carré adaptation The Constant Gardener (2005).
Producers Simon Cornwell and Stephen Cornwell are both sons of the film's source novelist John le Carré whose real name is David Cornwell.
The incredible slow-motion opening sequence of ballet dancer Carlos Acosta was crafted by cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle. Director Susanna White said: "I knew if one man in the world could make something extraordinary out of this, take an idea and make it ten times better, it was Anthony. It was thrilling to explore the world of the movie with him."
The Russian exteriors were filmed in Finland, with the interior of the Bolshoi Ballet recreated in London, England whilst The Dorchester Hotel in Mayfair in that city stood in for the Bellevue Hotel in Bern, Switzerland.
The movie's director Susanna White said of this film: "What made this stand out for me was that it is a very modern story. I have grown up with [source novelist John] le Carré and most of his other stories have looked backwards into the past and been set in a world of darkish interiors. Our Kind of Traitor (2016) is a big road movie, traveling across five countries. It is a le Carré for now. People in MI6 might now be working counter-terrorism. I deliberately cast Khalid Abdalla, a Middle Eastern actor, to play Luke, because that is the MI6 we've got now. I hope it will make people think about the world that we live in."
Star Damian Lewis, who plays British MI6 agent Hector Meredith, explains that the film is as much a character piece as it is a suspenseful thriller. Lewis said: "It's not a 'who done it', it's more of a 'can they do it?'."
Everyman superstar Ewan McGregor was the first of the film's high-powered cast to join the project. "Ewan was on early and first as Perry," producer Gail Egan said. "He was involved from quite an early stage of development and stayed with us through many drafts. He was perfect."
The picture utilized used about fifty different filming locations and was shot on around ninety different film sets.
A. Belameh and R. Blackwell star in one scene at Emirates Stadium, which was filmed on the evening people were advised to stay indoors due to air pollution.
The film was made and released about six years after its source novel of the same name by John le Carré had been first published in 2010.
According to The Locations Guide, "by travelling to so many countries, Our Kind of Traitor (2016) was able to access several film incentive programmes such as a 25% tax rebate (United Kingdom) and a 30% tax rebate (France). Morocco did approve its own film incentive of a 20% cash rebate in 2015, but was installed long after production had concluded."
The film's source book "Our Kind of Traitor" (2010) is the twenty-second novel of source novelist John le Carré.
Actor Stellan Skarsgård had never worked with director Susanna White before. Skarsgård' said: "I called my son Alexander ('Alexander Skarsgård') who did Generation Kill (2008) with her, and he said, 'You would have a lot of fun with her. You can't say no'," he smiled.
The movie is set in five key settings: London, England; Marrakech (aka Marrakesh), Morocco; Bern (aka Berne), Switzerland; and Paris & the French Alps, both in France.
Aubrey Longrigg (played by Jeremy Northam) is described as the MP for Islington North - the real MP for that constituency is, and has been for many years, the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.
The film's screenwriter Hossein Amini said of this movie: "One of the strengths of John le Carré's work is that he incorporates very important themes into a roller-coaster ride of a thriller. The audience is thrown into the shoes of an innocent couple and there are dangers lurking around every corner. But along the way le Carré is also saying a lot about the world in the years post the global economic crash of 2008, and about the influence of Russia and Europe on Britain. He personalizes the story through the characters we meet along the way."
According to the film's screenwriter Hossein Amini, one of the themes of [John] le Carré's work is that Britain has almost declined as a world power but we still have these British values that come from a time when Britain was on top of the world and had a moral responsibility. As that power has waned, that morality has turned into something far more like compromise. He is very interested in the impact of the decline of British power on a moral system. That's what our film is about. There are those who are willing to anger the Russian authorities to help this man Dima [Stellan Skarsgård] escape, and there are those who are opposed to that and are probably working with the Russians, all within the British system." Our Kind of Traitor (2016) deftly wraps these weighty issues inside universal imponderables including what it means to be a man in the 21st century.
The indoor tennis scene was filmed at the Lawn Tennis Association's National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, London.
Director Justin Kurzel was previously attached to direct. In the end, Susanna White was hired as the film's director.
BAFTA winning production designer Sarah Greenwood said: "We never went to the same place twice and we were always moving. "We were not in any place longer than a day, constantly moving. It was a bit like a road movie."
One of the film's producers, Simon Cornwell, said of this movie: "It was a very strong, very relatable story. An every-man and an every-woman couple caught in a world that overwhelms them and charts their journey through that. It was a very natural to take to the screen."
The two actors who have both played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars film franchise, Scottish actor'Ewan McGregor' and Alec Guinness, have now both also appeared in filmed adaptations of novels by John le Carré. McGregor appears in Our Kind of Traitor (2016) while Guinness starred in the original Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) television series.
Naomie Harris and Stellan Skarsgård both previously appeared in two consecutive year "Pirates of the Caribbean" pictures: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007).
Screenwriter Hossein Amini was fortunate to be slipped a copy of John le Carré's as-yet-unpublished manuscript by the agent he shares with le Carré whose real name is David Cornwell. Amini said: "I loved it from the moment I read it. I quickly phoned and said 'I really desperately want to do this'. I then had to meet David Cornwell to discuss how to do it and he very generously said 'yes I would love you to do it'." Amini worked closely with le Carré on the first couple of drafts. Amini added: "I would write and he'd give me notes. John le Carré had always been a big hero of mine so it was a fantastic opportunity to work with him. It was like meeting a man with an extraordinary brain. I learnt so much from those two or three days I sat down with him. It was the highlight of my screenwriting career to exchange ideas and work on the script with him and to talk about ideas. It's fantastic when a person lives up to your expectations. As a screenwriter you need collaborators to get the script in the right place. Everyone works differently and has different approaches but I got a lot out of working with all them."
On the subject of male violence, director Susanna White explained: "One of the things that drew me to Our Kind of Traitor (2016) was the idea of male violence and how that defines you or doesn't define you. The part of the process that I really enjoyed was practicing the fight scenes, getting them to feel as authentic as possible and seeing how that fitted with character. In rehearsals we explored the different layers of these characters to make them feel as grounded and real as possible. I wanted to make the fights feel visceral and real, and feel like the acting was balanced on a sixpence. I wanted to explore the delicacy and emotion in a performance but also the brutality. One moment you are in the world of a five-star Swiss hotel and the next you go through a door and you're in a knife fight in a kitchen. For the fight scenes we spent a lot of time rehearsing and setting up the cameras to get the best angles. It was a very technical exercise to make it seem simple and real. I love the challenges of that. It is one of the aspects of my job I love the most."
Ewan McGregor and Stellan Skarsgård both previously appeared in Angels & Demons (2009).
According to the film's director Susanna White, "Perry [Ewan McGregor]'s character is struggling to define who he is. At the start of the movie he feels lost, his wife is much more successful than he is and his journey is one of redefining himself as a man, which he discovers on his journey with Dima [Stellan Skarsgård] . We have a couple in crisis needing to heal and repair their relationship."
The film reveals worlds within worlds and the different faces of the people who inhabit them. As the production designer, Sarah Greenwood relished those nuances. Greenwood said: "Our Kind of Traitor (2016) is very expansive. I liked the challenge of creating worlds that we don't see and worlds that we don't know. It's very interesting to see how these societies work. What we're seeing in this film is British high society, as well as inside the British government and banking. They are fascinating worlds to step into."
Actress Naomie Harris, who plays Miss Eve Moneypenny in the James Bond films, became the sixth major actor who has starred in motion pictures based on works of both John le Carré and 'Ian Fleming (I)', both famous spy novelists. Harris' role as Gail Perkins in Our Kind of Traitor (2016) follows her two previous appearances in Bond movies, in Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery are actors who have both previously portrayed James Bond on screen and both have starred in le Carré filmed adaptations, they being The Tailor of Panama (2001) and The Russia House (1990) respectively, the latter which has a title that evokes Fleming's From Russia with Love (1963) which starred Connery as Bond. Of Connery's 007 Bond films, his one unofficial Bond movie, Never Say Never Again (1983), co-starred Klaus Maria Brandauer, who also appeared in The Russia House (1990). Alas, Connery and Brandauer have starred in the same two Bond and le Carré spy movies. Moreover, Harris and Brosnan both appeared in the thriller adventure cinema movie After the Sunset (2004). The first actor to portray an M character in the Bond films, Bernard Lee, was the first actor ever to do both Bond and le Carré. Lee appeared as Patmore in le Carré's classic spy movie The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), which was the first ever filmed adaptation of a le Carré novel. The le Carré adaptation film The Constant Gardener (2005) starred Ralph Fiennes, who played Justin Quayle, and has portrayed the Bond series' new M character Gareth Mallory in both Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015), as has Harris played Eve Moneypenny in the two. Rachel Weisz, the wife of James Bond actor Daniel Craig, previously starred as Tessa Quayle in The Constant Gardener (2005), for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award, with Wiesz and Fiennes playing husband and wife in that movie. About thirty cast and crew personnel worked on both Spectre (2015) and the film of John le Carré's Our Kind of Traitor (2016).
Cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle worked with multiple cameras, sometimes hidden, to give each scene a unique perspective. Director Susanna White said: "Anthony would be hiding cameras everywhere when we were shooting a scene. Sometimes I wouldn't even know. I would be looking at shots I didn't even know we had a camera on because Anthony would be so inventive, and be trying things out all the time. It is great to work with people at the top of their game."
The title , " Our Kind of Traitor " comes from a line in the 1950 novella of " The Third Man" , written by Graham Greene from his earlier screenplay.
Director Susanna White said of this movie: "There are a lot of expectations about making a [John] le Carré film. People imagine it as people meeting in alleyways, lots of dark interiors, usually a grey-brown world of the past. Part of my challenge as director was to bring something new to it in exploring the areas I wanted to explore. But also to make the le Carré fans not feel cheated and to feel they were getting something that would honor a very specific piece of literature."
When the project was first announced, actor Mads Mikkelsen was a part of the cast. Mikkelsen previously starred as Le Chiffre in the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006) around a decade earlier.
Source author John le Carré's novels always drill with piercing acuity into the global issues of the day: the pharmaceutical industry in The Constant Gardener (2005); the war on terror in A Most Wanted Man (2014); in Our Kind of Traitor (2016) it is private finance and the impact of Russia - specifically Russian money - on the entire spectrum of British society, from finance to politics to the streets of London, which comes under scrutiny.
About five cast and crew personnel worked on both Eastern Promises (2007) and the filmed adaptation of John le Carré's novel, Our Kind of Traitor (2016), the two pictures being made and released around nine years apart, and both featuring story-lines involving the Russian Mafia. They were actor James Payton who was a stand-in for both Ewan McGregor and Viggo Mortensen in Our Kind of Traitor (2016) and Eastern Promises (2007) respectively; fight and stunt co-ordinator'Julian Spencer (I)'; art director / chief draughtsman Dean Clegg; ADR mixer / recordist Mark Appleby; and production coordinator Jo Wallett.
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) passed uncut this work in Great Britain.
The John le Carré adaption cinema movie Our Kind of Traitor (2016) and the John le Carré adaption TV mini-series The Night Manager (2016) were both first released and/or broadcast in 2016 which is the 50th Anniversary year of when the John le Carré filmed cinema movie adaptation The Deadly Affair (1967) starring James Mason had premiered back in 1966.
The rich textural world of Our Kind of Traitor (2016) is established from the outset by an opening sequence featuring the dramatic motifs of snow, a forest, and a ballerina. Director Susanna White said: "What I wanted was a strong image of a man suspended in the air. And so, thinking blue sky because it's [John] le Carré, I thought, 'who would I like better than anyone in the world to do that? Well,' I thought, 'Carlos Acosta', who is the perfect image of masculinity'. I emailed him, and he rang straight back and said 'I really want to be a part of this, let's see how we can make it happen'. It is wonderful doing a le Carré, everyone wants to be a part of it."
The fast pace of the production shoot allowed cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle to work intuitively, as different characters encouraged him to move the camera and frame a scene in a certain way. Mantle said: "I move the camera based on an emotional instinct I have as to where we are in the story and what the psychological mood of the scene is," he explains." It's a speedy aesthetic. I wouldn't call it hand-held as such, it's like a mixture of something between Steadicam and handheld. It's a gliding that allows me to be inquisitive."
Director of Photography Anthony Dod Mantle used the small almost-hidden cameras to capture the fast-moving cosmopolitan world of the movie. Mantle said: "An awful lot of this film is moving. I had to structure and package my equipment and to minimalise the stuff I use, including the lenses, because we had to move so often so fast, so quickly and in such small spaces."
Stellan Skarsgård (Dima) & Alec Utgoff (Niki) also worked together on episode 1.3 River: Episode #1.3 (2015) of River (2015) as John River & Sasha Mischenko respectively.
Two stars in the film's lead cast have been touted at different times to being possible future actors to play James Bond with them being Damian Lewis and Ewan McGregor.
The picture was produced by two production houses, The Ink Factory and Potboiler Productions, two companies who had recently collaborated on another John le Carré filmed adaptation A Most Wanted Man (2014), which had been made and released about a couple of years earlier.
The film's closing credits dedication states: "In loving memory of Simon Channing Williams". He was a producer on two filmed adaptations of John le Carré novels, The Constant Gardener (2005) and A Most Wanted Man (2014).
Director Susanna White's emphasis on her delicate balancing act of action and acting impressed cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle and helped to entice the Oscar and BAFTA winner for Slumdog Millionaire (2008) to come aboard the project. Mantle said: "In our original meeting Susanna made certain references to family amidst this world of violence and embezzling and financial exploitation. The bottom line for Dima (Stellan Skarsgård), one of our main characters, is that everything he does is based on what he feels is of worth in his life. This is not money or luxury apartments but his family and their future and their survival. I liked that Susanna wanted to make that a significant, underlying element. That Dima, for all his violence and historical corruption seems an incredibly likeable and adorable and enigmatic person. I think that's what's interesting about the film. I'm not the least bit interested what country you travel to, it's about how these people travel in relation to each other and their journeys, particularly Ewan's character and certainly Stellan's journey at the end."
Production Designer Sarah Greenwood relished working with a woman director. Greenwood said: "It was fantastic to work with a female director. It's always very different working with different directors and what they bring to it. Susanna has a very firm idea of what she wants. When you present something as an idea, or change something in the script which maybe doesn't work so well, she's very open."
Director Susanna White said of the making of this movie: "The wonderful thing about this film is that it enabled me to flex a lot of muscle as a filmmaker. Visually it is an incredible world in terms of location, and intellectually it is very challenging. I was very lucky that I got this incredible team on board with whom to explore those incredible ideas. The great thing about doing [John] le Carré is that everyone wants to work on it, so we were able to get real A-listers in terms of heads of departments to come on board."
One of the picture's producers, Gail Egan, said of this movie: "We were lucky enough to read the book prior to publication. It was obvious straight away. It's a great book. It's a great story and it has great characters. It is very cinematic."
Source novelist John le Carré's characters have long been engrained in the public imagination as the crumpled, cynical counterparts to the polished dash of James Bond. For the filmmakers, the job at hand was to craft a feature to fit into the le Carré canon and also to stand out within it.
About fifteen crew personnel worked on both The Night Manager (2016) and Our Kind of Traitor (2016) which were both filmed adaptations first released in 2016 of novels by celebrated espionage author John le Carré.
About thirty cast and crew personnel worked on both the recent James Bond movie Spectre (2015) and the film of John le Carré's Our Kind of Traitor (2016).
Director Susanna White partly drew on her experiences working with the marines on Generation Kill (2008) to give the movie thrilling kinetic energy. One of the IMDb plot summaries for Generation Kill (2008) reads: "A Rolling Stone reporter, embedded with The 1st Recon Marines chronicles his experiences during the first wave of the American-led assault on Baghdad in 2003."
One two filmed adaptations of a John le Carré novel that were first released or broadcast in 2016. The productions are The Night Manager (2016) and Our Kind of Traitor (2016).
Both of the directors of the two 2016 filmed adaptations of John le Carré novels, The Night Manager (2016) and Our Kind of Traitor (2016) are women, they being Susanne Bier and Susanna White respectively.
The picture was shot in 2014 which was the 30th Anniversary year of when the filmed cinema movie adaptation of John le Carré's The Little Drummer Girl (1984) had debuted in cinemas. The Little Drummer Girl (1984) was the first ever appearance of John le Carré in a filmed production of one of his novels and John le Carré cameos again in Our Kind of Traitor (2016).
First theatrical feature film adaptation of a John le Carré novel that has been directed by a woman (Susanna White).
One of four filmed adaptations of John le Carré novels that have been made during the 2010s decade [to date, July 2016]. The productions are Our Kind of Traitor (2016), The Night Manager (2016), A Most Wanted Man (2014), and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
According to the Wikipedia website, "in September 2010, [source novelist John] le Carré was interviewed on Channel 4 News by journalist Jon Snow at his house in Cornwall. The conversation involved several topics: his writing career generally and processes adopted for writing (specifically about his latest book, Our Kind of Traitor, involving Russia and its current global influences - financially and politically."
The relationship between the attractive, comfortably-off Perry (Ewan McGregor), a university lecturer in poetics, and Gail Perkins (Naomie Harris), a very successful barrister, starts in a very broken place. That was an interesting dynamic for the two actors to play according to the film's production notes.
The nickname of Peregrine Makepeace (Ewan McGregor) was "Perry" whilst the nicknames of Dmitri Vladimirovich Krasnov (Stellan Skarsgård) were "'Dima" and "the world's best money launderer."
Star Damian Lewis, according to the film's official site, ". . . is most notably known as Sergeant Nicholas Brody in Showtime's critically acclaimed and award-winning television series Homeland (2011)", another espionage production. IMDb states it is about "a bipolar CIA operative becomes convinced a prisoner of war has been turned by al-Qaeda and is planning to carry out a terrorist attack on American soil". Our Kind of Traitor (2016)'s official site adds that the television series was " . . . developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa. The series co-stars Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison, a CIA officer who believes that Lewis' character, who was held captive by Al-Qaeda as a prisoner of war, may have been turned by the enemy and is now a possible threat to the United States. The series, which recently finished airing its third season, won the 2012 and 2013 Golden Globe® Awards for Best Television Series, Drama, as well as the 2012 Primetime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series. Lewis' performance earned him a 2013 Golden Globe® Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama and a 2012 Primetime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, among other accolades. He received a 2013 Primetime Emmy® nomination in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category on behalf of his performance in the series."
The synopsis of this movie's source novel "Our Kind of Traitor" (2010) by John le Carré on his personal website reads: "John le Carré's 22nd novel, Our Kind of Traitor, is set in contemporary, recession gripped Britain. A left-leaning young Oxford academic and his barrister girlfriend take an off-peak holiday on the Caribbean island of Antigua. By seeming chance they bump into a Russian millionaire called Dima who owns a peninsula and a diamond-encrusted gold watch. He also has a tattoo on his right thumb, and wants a game of tennis. What else he wants propels the young lovers on a tortuous journey through Paris to a safe house in the Swiss Alps, to the murkiest cloisters of the City of London and its unholy alliance with Britain's Intelligence Establishment."
First ever filmed adaptation of a John le Carré novel to cast an actress who has portrayed a Bond Girl with Naomie Harris playing Eve Moneypenny in Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015) and Gail in Our Kind of Traitor (2016).
First cinema movie filmed adaptation of a John le Carré novel for about two years with the last having been A Most Wanted Man (2014).
Third spy movie of actress Naomie Harris after her two James Bond films Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015) where she plays Eve Moneypenny. Harris also has voiced her Moneypenny character for the video-game 007 Legends (2012).
The production notes for the film state: "2016, the 50th anniversary of the release of the film of The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, will see the release both of Our Kind of Traitor (2016) on the big screen and of the six-hour television adaptation of The Night Manager (2016)."
In the film's source John le Carré novel, the couple of Perry Makepiece and Gail Perkins, played by Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris in the film respectively, go on holiday not in Marrakech in Morocco as in the movie but in Antigua (aka Waladli and Wadadli) in the West Indies. Harris' father is from Jamaica and her mother is from Trinidad, both locales which are located in the West Indies region.
The film's source John le Carré 2010 novel of the same title begins with a quotation from was an English poet and historian Wen-Hsi Ho who lived between 1562 and 14th October 1619. The quote reads: "Princes in this case do hate the traitor, though they love the treason. - Wen-Hsi Ho".
The 2016 tie-in book edition of the film's source John le Carré 2010 novel of the same name dedicates the book to the late movie producer Simon Channing Williams, who was the main producer on the earlier le Carré' filmed adaptation motion picture The Constant Gardener (2005). The novel's dedication reads: "In memory of Simon Channing Williams, film-maker, magician, honourable man." The le Carré' filmed adaptations A Most Wanted Man (2014) and Our Kind of Traitor (2016) are also both dedicated to Simon Channing Williams with the dedication in both films saying "in loving memory of".
The scene with helicopter view over a lake when Perry and Gail are with the MI6 people in a train heading for Switzerland was filmed at Lake Bourget in France, near the city Aix-les-Bains.
Islington North is represented by Jeremy Corbyn the Leader Of the Labour Party and Opposition.