Take the stuntman-turned-director behind John Wick, add a dash of Imperator Furiosa, put it in late 1980’s new wave Cold War Berlin, and what do you get? You get Atomic Blonde, a film by David Leitch starring Charlize Theron, premiering this weekend at SXSW.
Entertainment Weekly shared a first look at the movie, which is John Wick co-director Leitch’s first solo feature. The film is adapted from the graphic novel The Coldest City by Antony Johnston. Theron bought the rights to the book five years ago after falling in love with the main character, an MI6 spy that Theron describes as “strong,” “feisty,” and “cheeky.”
It’ll also star James McAvoy (pictured below with Theron), Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella and John Goodman.
Theron reportedly trained extensively for the physical aspects of the film. She apparently even had to get “massive dental surgery” after cracking two teeth in the course of her training with Leitch, an ex-stuntman and stunt coordinator himself.
With U.S.-Russia tensions the highest they’ve been since the Cold War, a shift back toward shady Russian bad guys may be in store for the action genre. This film doesn’t necessarily seem like it’ll be a nuanced political comment, but with Leitch’s action work and Theron’s on-screen presence, it ought to be a pretty good time. Atomic Blonde goes wide in theaters this summer on June 28.