The Spy Trailer

Sacha Baron Cohen is best known for crafting wild characters like Borat, Brüno and Ali G, not to mention his recent string of characters from the Emmy-nominated series Who Is America? at Showtime. But over at Netflix, the comedian will be getting deadly serious in a new limited series called The Spy, telling the true story of an Israeli spy named Eli Cohen, who is actually a distant relative of the actor. As the trailer shows, Cohen is really trying to broaden his horizons as an actor with such a dramatic turn.

The Spy Trailer

The real appeal here is Sacha Baron Cohen taking such a dramatic role. Otherwise, this is pretty familiar spy fare. There’s the tension of playing a role in order to get government secrets,the drama of leaving behind your old life with a wife and child, and the mental struggle of balancing a secret identity with your real life. It’s all standard spy stuff, but I think the curiosity of seeing Cohen in a role like this will make people turn their heads.

Joining Cohen in the series is Noah Emmerich (The Americans) as Dan Peleg, Eli’s Mossad handler who tires to ease his own guilt over the sacrifices Eli makes. Hadar Ratzon Rotem (Homeland) portrays 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 finally Waleed Zuaiter (Colony) plays Amin Al-Hafz, a military officer who thinks he’s found the perfect ally in the undercover Cohen.

The Spy hails from writer/director Gideon Raff, who previously worked on Homeland, which explains the vibe and look of this six-episode series. Hopefully there’s something a little more engaging about this story than what’s presented in the trailer, because so far it’s not tapping into anything that we haven’t seen before, and six hours of treading water will get old pretty quickly. Even the title couldn’t muster up anything more creative.

The Spy is inspired by the real-life story of former Mossad agent, Eli 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, but he does his job so well that he finds it hard to strip off his double identity.

The Spy hits Netflix on September 6, 2019.

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