'The Spy' First Look: Sacha Baron Cohen Gets Serious In Netflix Limited Series

Sacha Baron Cohen is nigh unrecognizable in The Spy, and that's not just because he's gone undercover. The actor and comedian is giving a rare serious turn in the upcoming Netflix limited series, which tells the story of Israeli spy Eli Cohen, a distant relative of Baron Cohen. While the resemblance is uncanny, The Spy first look photos released by Netflix show a Baron Cohen who is far removed from the outrageous comedy he is known for.

The Spy First Look

Netflix has revealed the premiere date and some first look photos for the limited drama series The Spy, which stars Baron Cohen as Israeli spy Eli Cohen when he goes undercover in Syria in the early 1960s. Written and directed by Gideon Raff, who also created the Israeli drama Prisoners of War — the basis for the series Homeland — The Spy is a story that Baron Cohen holds a personal connection with: Eli Cohen was a distant relative of Baron Cohen on his father's side.

It's a little unnerving to see Baron Cohen in a serious role, though this isn't the actor's first foray into drama. The actor has appeared in Les Miserables and Alice Through the Looking Glass, albeit in more wacky supporting roles, and was briefly attached to an early version of Bohemian Rhapsody to play Freddie Mercury, though he dropped out over concerns that the film would be a hagiography. But with The Spy, Baron Cohen makes his dramatic leading role debut, which is just enough to pique our interests.

Here is the synopsis for The Spy (per Deadline):

The Spy is inspired by the story of legendary former Mossad agent Eli Cohen (Baron Cohen), who successfully goes undercover in Syria in the early 1960s. Cohen becomes close enough to ambitious military leaders and their rich friends to earn a game-changing level of trust about Syria's biggest anti-Israel secret initiatives.

Baron Cohen's Eli Cohen is a man who wants nothing more than to be of service to his country, but he does his job so well that he finds it hard to strip off his double identity. Cast also includes Noah Emmerich (The Americans) who plays Dan Peleg, Eli's Mossad handler who tires to ease his own guilt over the sacrifices Eli makes, Hadar Ratzon Rotem (Homeland) as Eli's wife, Nadia, who is left to raise their family on her own and knows something isn't right about her husband's government job, and Waleed Zuaiter (Colony) as Amin Al-Hafz, a military officer who thinks he's found the perfect ally in the undercover Cohen.

The Spy hits Netflix on September 6, 2019.