Netflix has released the trailer for upcoming espionage thriller Wasp Network, featuring an ensemble cast that includes Penélope Cruz, Ana de Armas, Edgar Ramírez, Gaël García Bernal and Wagner Moura, the latter of whom many will remember as Pablo Escobar from Netflix’s Narcos series.
The film is based on the true story of The Cuban Five, five Cuban intelligence officers who were arrested and later convicted of various illegal activities in the United States, including conspiracy to commit espionage and conspiracy to commit murder.
The real-life story is fascinating and there’s no denying how good that cast is, although the film’s festival run (second-half of 2019) saw mixed reviews from critics; 41% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 53 Metacritic score, for example. It may explain why Netflix was able to wait until January this year to pick up distribution rights. Still, you never know – the film could prove surprisingly good.
It comes from French writer-director Olivier Assayas, who has an interesting, albeit mixed bag of a resume, with credits including the fantastic 2013 mini-series Carlos (starring Ramírez), Something in the Air, Clouds of Sils Maria and the peculiar Kristen Stewart-starring supernatural drama Personal Shopper.
Wasp Network will be hitting Netflix on June 19.
Official synopsis for Wasp Network:
René González (Edgar Ramírez) is a Cuban pilot who leaves his wife (Penelope Cruz) and young daughter behind in the communist island nation to defect to the United States and begin a new life of freedom in the early 1990s. But René is not the upstart American striver he appears to be. Joining forces with a group of Cuban exiles in South Florida known as the Wasp Network — led by undercover operative Manuel Viramontez a.k.a. Gerardo Hernandez (Gaël García Bernal) — he becomes part of a pro-Castro spy ring tasked with observing and infiltrating Cuban-American terror groups intent upon attacking the socialist republic.
Based on the true story of The Cuban Five — intelligence officers including González who were arrested in Florida in September 1998 and later convicted of espionage and other illegal activities — Wasp Network is a gripping and stylish political thriller that wears many faces, bringing together a rogue’s gallery of Cuban nationals and Cuban-American exiles engaged in a complex and deeply nuanced battle of competing ideologies and shifting loyalties.
Inspired by Fernando Morais’ book The Last Soldiers of the Cold War, writer-director Olivier Assayas (Carlos, Personal Shopper) gathers an ensemble cast including Penelope Cruz, Edgar Ramírez, Gaël Garcia Bernal, Ana De Armas, Leonardo Sbaraglia, and Wagner Moura for an explosive and urgent spy game fought in a hall of mirrors across neighboring states whose decades-long standoff casts shadows into the present day.