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Munich: The Edge of War Cast & Real Life Character Guide

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Munich: The Edge of War Cast & Real Life Character Guide

Netflix’s Munich: The Edge of War‘s talented cast members play many historically-inspired characters, but what do the real-life people look like? Based on the novel Munich by famed historical fiction author Robert Harris, Munich: The Edge of War draws on the taut setting of a pre-war Europe to create a commanding piece of cinema that is truly evocative of a galling period in human history. Director Christian Schwochow certainly plays up Munich: The Edge of War‘s true-story angle, bringing several of history’s most contentious leaders to the fore in his period film.

Munich: The Edge of War‘s story converges on the ill-fated Munich Conference, a two-day summit held at the Bavarian city in September 1938, in which British, French, and other European government leaders meet to discuss Adolf Hitler’s plans to dissect Czechoslovakia. The British delegation is led by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who is quickly drawn into a battle of political wills with the Nazi Party leader. Parallel to these world leaders’ machinations, British diplomat Hugh Legat is tasked by MI6 to smuggle home explosive secret documents set to reveal Hitler’s nefarious plans to control Europe by any means.

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While there are several historical figures in Munich: The Edge of War that require little introduction, the film’s wider cast comprises a range of real and fictional characters designed to deliver Schwochow’s vision with maximum impact. House of Gucci‘s Jeremy Irons delivers a pitch-perfect portrayal as a Chamberlain desperate to avoid the horrors of war, while sheer fear plaudits must also go to August Diehl’s relentless Franz Sauer. Here’s a guide to the characters in Munich: The Edge of War and what they looked like in real life, as well as from where audiences might recognize the actors who play them.


Jeremy Irons as Neville Chamberlain

The incomparable Jeremy Irons plays the then-British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who is painted as a highly sympathetic character determined to sacrifice his reputation for the good of Europe in Munich: The Edge of War. Yet Irons’ revisionist take on Chamberlain is a far cry from the Prime Minister’s true nature, with the real-life Chamberlain blindly and arrogantly pursuing his policy of appeasement at all costs despite Hitler’s clear lust for dominion from Britain to all of Nazi Germany’s neighboring countries. So great was the real Chamberlain’s humiliation after Hitler tore up the Munich Agreement, in fact, that his name is used as a warning against striking deals with dictatorships worldwide to this day. This diversion from the truth does little to diminish Jeremy Iron’s committed performance, however, whose stellar list of acting credits includes leading roles in The Merchant of Venice, The Man In The Iron Mask, and Steven Soderbergh’s mystery thriller Kafka.


George MacKay as Hugh Legat

Hugh Legat is a character created entirely by original author Robert Harris with no ties to existing historical figures. In Munich: The Edge of War, however, Legat acts as one of the film’s primary protagonists and is tasked with finding the smoking gun that will vilify Hitler and save Europe from a catastrophic negotiation error. British diplomat Legat is played by Wolf‘s George MacKay, who began his career as a child actor in 2003’s Peter Pan before maturing into major dramatic roles in other historical-based films such as 1917 and Defiance.

Jannis Niewöhner as Paul von Hartmann

While his partner in crime is purely fictional, the character of Paul von Hartmann contains far more historical substance. Von Hartmann is loosely based on the real-life anti-Nazi diplomat Adam von Trott, who conspired several times to take down the Nazi Party leader between 1938 and 1944. The real Hartmann (Trott) did indeed manage to meet with Chamberlain in 1939 and was also an integral part of the failed attempt to kill Hitler and then his cabinet in 1944 that cost Trott his life. In Munich: The Edge of War, Hartmann is played by Jannis Niewöhner, whose body of work in German cinema is extensive, although Munich: The Edge of War represents only Niewöhner’s second foray into Western cinema to date.

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Ulrich Matthes as Adolf Hitler

Ulrich Matthes quite simply steals the show as the reviled Nazi party leader, playing up Hitler’s cunning nature and increasingly stark God complex in equal measure until the film’s climax. Although Munich: The Edge of War does little to change (nor should it) the historical perception of Hitler in the way it does Chamberlain, the film expertly plays on the fact that its audiences already know the outcome of the pair’s political maneuverings. Ulrich Matthes is best known for his role as Joseph Goebbels in the German historical film Downfall, with the actor seemingly relishing the chance to play another of the Nazi Party’s most infamous personnel.


Mark Lewis Jones as Sir Osmund Cleverly

In real life, Sir Osmund Somers Cleverly also served as the advisor to Neville Chamberlain between 1935 and 1939, although his advice historically appears far less sage. In Munich: The Edge of War, Mark Lewis Jones’ Cleverly astutely counsels the British Prime Minister, but historical records suggest he subscribed to the same level of blind appeasement that Chamberlain preached in the weeks following the Munich Agreement. Welsh actor Mark Lewis Jones is best known internationally for his roles as soldier Tecton in Troy and Captain Moden Canady in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Munich: The Edge of War’s Supporting Cast & Characters

Sandra Hüller as Helen Winter: Each of Munich: The Edge of War‘s supporting cast plays fictional characters with no known historical connections. The first of these is Helen Winter, who acts as Hartmann’s confidante and ally in his plot to undermine and later kill Hitler across the course of the film as he becomes more radicalized. Winter is played by Sandra Hüller, who is well known in German cinema, having taken on 30 separate movie roles since 1999.

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Liv Lisa Fries as Lenya: Lenya represents the coming, off-screen storm in Munich: The Edge of War, voicing fears regarding the Nazi Party’s treatment of German Jewish citizens in 1938. A close friend of Legat and Hartmann, she serves as the extra rationale for Hartmann’s radicalization as he becomes consumed by his quest to defeat Hitler. Lenya is played by Liv Lisa Fries, best known as the female lead Charlotte Ritter in the German TV series Babylon Berlin.

Related: Despite World War II Setting, Darkest Hour Is Relevant To Today’s Politics

August Diehl as Franz Sauer: The mysterious Sauer is a member of the Nazi’s SS enforcers, who quickly begins to stalk Hartmann and Legat’s covert operations. Sauer actor August Diehl is best known to Western audiences for his portrayal as Gestapo major Dieter Hellstrom in the brilliant Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds.

Jessica Brown Findlay as Pamela Legat: Best known for her work on Downton Abbey, Jessica Brown Findlay puts in a brief yet memorable appearance as Hugh Legat’s other half. MI6’s coercion forces Hugh to leave Pamela and trade a comfortable life for a dangerous mission, setting the clandestine subplots of Munich: The Edge of War in motion.

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Next: How Overlord Retcons World War II History (& Why)


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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Hitting the three-quarter-century mark usually means a retirement home, a nursing facility, or if you’re lucky to be blessed with relatively good health and savings to match, living in a gated community in Arizona or Florida.

For Sylvester Stallone, however, it means something else entirely: starring in the first superhero-centered film of his decades-long career in the much-delayed Samaritan. Unfortunately for Stallone and the audience on the other side of the screen, the derivative, turgid, forgettable results won’t get mentioned in a career retrospective, let alone among the ever-expanding list of must-see entries in a genre already well past its peak.

For Stallone, however, it’s better late than never when it involves the superhero genre. Maybe in getting a taste of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with his walk-on role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel several years ago, Stallone thought anything Marvel can do, I can do even better (or just as good in the nebulous definition of the word).

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The property Stallone and his team found for him, Samaritan, a little-known graphic novel released by a small, almost negligible, publisher, certainly takes advantage of Stallone’s brute-force physicality and his often underrated talent for near-monosyllabic brooding (e.g., the Rambo series), but too often gives him to little do or say as the lone super-powered survivor, the so-called “Samaritan” of the title, of a lifelong rivalry with his brother, “Nemesis.” Two brothers entered a fire-ravaged building and while both were presumed dead, one brother did survive (Stallone’s Joe Smith, a garbageman by day, an appliance repairman by night).

In the Granite City of screenwriter Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room, Season of the Witch), the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, teeters on economic and political collapse, with a recession spiraling into a depression, steady gigs difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the city’s neighborhoods rocked by crime and violence. No one’s safe, not even 13-year-old Sam (Javon Walker), Joe’s neighbor.

When he’s not dodging bullies connected to a gang, he’s falling under the undue influence of Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a low-rent gang leader with an outsized ego and the conviction that he and only he can take on Nemesis’s mantle and along with that mantle, a hammer “forged in hate,” to orchestrate a Bane-like plan to plunge the city into chaos and become a wealthy power-broker in the process.

Schut’s woefully underwritten script takes a clumsy, haphazard approach to world-building, relying on a two-minute animated sequence to open Samaritan while a naive, worshipful Sam narrates Samaritan and Nemesis’s supposedly tragic, Cain and Abel-inspired backstory. Schut and director Julius Avery (Overlord) clumsily attempt to contrast Sam’s childish belief in messiah-like, superheroic saviors stepping in to save humanity from itself and its own worst excesses, but following that path leads to authoritarianism and fascism (ideas better, more thoroughly explored in Watchmen and The Boys).

While Sam continues to think otherwise, Stallone’s superhero, 25 years past his last, fatal encounter with his presumably deceased brother, obviously believes superheroes are the problem and not the solution (a somewhat reasonable position), but as Samaritan tracks Joe and Sam’s friendship, Sam giving Joe the son he never had, Joe giving Sam the father he lost to street violence well before the film’s opening scene, it gets closer and closer to embracing, if not outright endorsing Sam’s power fantasies, right through a literally and figuratively explosive ending. Might, as always, wins regardless of how righteous or justified the underlying action.

It’s what superhero audiences want, apparently, and what Samaritan uncritically delivers via a woefully under-rendered finale involving not just unconvincing CGI fire effects, but a videogame cut-scene quality Stallone in a late-film flashback sequence that’s meant to be subversively revelatory, but will instead lead to unintentional laughter for anyone who’s managed to sit the entirety of Samaritan’s one-hour and 40-minute running time.

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Samaritan is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.

Samaritan

Cast
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton
  • Pilou Asbæk

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Matt Shakman Is In Talks To Direct ‘Fantastic Four’

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According to a new report, Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct the upcoming MCU project, Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios has been very hush-hush regarding Fantastic Four to the point where no official announcements have been made other than the film’s release date. No casting news or literally anything other than rumors has been released regarding the project. We know that Fantastic Four is slated for release on November 8th, 2024, and will be a part of Marvel’s Phase 6. There are also rumors that the cast of the new Fantastic Four will be announced at the D23 Expo on September 9th.

Fantastic Four is still over two years from release, and we assume we will hear more news about the project in the coming months. However, the idea of the Fantastic Four has already been introduced into the MCU. John Krasinski played Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cameo was a huge deal for fans who have been waiting a long time for the Fantastic Four to enter the MCU. When Disney acquired Twenty Century Fox in 2019 we assumed that the Fox Marvel characters would eventually make their way into the MCU. It’s been 3 years and we already have had an X-Men and Fantastic Four cameo – even if they were from another universe.

Deadline is reporting that Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct Fantastic Four. Shakman served as the director for Wandavision and has had an extensive career. He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones and an episode of The Boys, and he had a long stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There is nothing official yet, but Deadline’s sources say that Shakman is currently in talks for the job and things are headed in the right direction.

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To be honest, I was a bit more excited when Jon Watts was set to direct. I’m sure Shakman is a good director, but Watts proved he could handle a tentpole superhero film with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Wandavision was good, but Watts’ style would have been perfect for Fantastic Four. The film is probably one of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s upcoming slate films and they need to find the best person they can to direct. Is that Matt Shakman? It could be, but whoever takes the job must realize that Marvel has a lot riding on this movie. The other Fantastic Four films were awful and fans deserve better. Hopefully, Marvel knocks it out of the park as they usually do. You can see for yourself when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8th, 2024.

Film Synopsis: One of Marvel’s most iconic families makes it to the big screen: the Fantastic Four.

Source: Deadline

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Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase Star in ‘Zombie Town’ Mystery Teen Romancer (Exclusive)

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Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase have entered Zombie Town, a mystery teen romancer based on author R.L. Stine’s book of the same name.

The indie, now shooting in Ontario, also stars Henry Czerny and co-teen leads Marlon Kazadi and Madi Monroe. The ensemble cast includes Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch of the Canadian comedy show Kids in the Hall.

Canadian animator Peter Lepeniotis will direct Zombie Town. Stine’s kid’s book sees a quiet town upended when 12-year-old Mike and his friend, Karen, see a horror movie called Zombie Town and unexpectedly see the title characters leap off the screen and chase them through the theater.

Zombie Town will premiere in U.S. theaters before streaming on Hulu and then ABC Australia in 2023.

“We are delighted to bring the pages of R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town to the screen and equally thrilled to be working with such an exceptional cast and crew on this production. A three-time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winner with book sales of over $500 million, R.L. Stine has a phenomenal track record of crafting stories that engage and entertain audiences,” John Gillespie, Trimuse Entertainment founder and executive producer, said in a statement.

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Executive producers are Trimuse Entertainment, Toonz Media Group, Lookout Entertainment, Viva Pictures and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates.  

Paco Alvarez and Mark Holdom of Trimuse negotiated the deal to acquire the rights to Stine’s Zombie Town book.

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