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Benedict Cumberbatch stars in new trailer for spy thriller The Courier

Benedict Cumberbatch is the unassuming salesman sent to infiltrate Russia’s KGB during The Cold War in new trailer for spy thriller The Courier

Benedict Cumberbatch plays an unassuming businessman swept into a MI6 mission in upcoming true-life spy thriller The Courier.

And the first trailer for the film dropped on Wednesday, teasing drama aplenty.

Co-starring Merab Ninidze, Rachel Brosnahan, and Jessie Buckley, and directed by Dominic Cooke, the film sees unassuming British businessman Greville Wynne (Cumberbatch) recruited into one of the greatest international conflicts in history.

Thriller: Benedict Cumberbatch plays an unassuming businessman swept into a MI6 mission in upcoming true-life spy thriller The Courier

At the behest of the UK’s MI6 and a CIA operative (Brosnahan), he forms a covert, dangerous partnership with Soviet officer Oleg Penkovsky (Ninidze) in an effort to provide crucial intelligence needed to prevent a nuclear confrontation and defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis.

‘I can’t believe I’m having lunch with spies!’ Greville says in the trailer. ‘I’m just a salesman! What do you want me to do?’

Concerned about danger, the spies he lunches with assure him: ‘If this mission were the least bit dangerous, you really are the last man we’d send!’

Sent off to Moscow, he is told to assume everyone he meets is KGB.

Secret service: The first trailer for the film dropped on Wednesday, teasing drama aplenty

Secret service: The first trailer for the film dropped on Wednesday, teasing drama aplenty

Cast: Co-starring Merab Ninidze, Rachel Brosnahan, and Jessie Buckley, and directed by Dominic Cooke, the film sees unassuming British businessman Greville Wynne (Cumberbatch) recruited into one of the greatest international conflicts in history

Cast: Co-starring Merab Ninidze, Rachel Brosnahan, and Jessie Buckley, and directed by Dominic Cooke, the film sees unassuming British businessman Greville Wynne (Cumberbatch) recruited into one of the greatest international conflicts in history

Stay! He is sent to-and-fro to Russia, his wife begging him not to go back

Stay! He is sent to-and-fro to Russia, his wife begging him not to go back

He is told to ‘sell the idea’ that he is ‘nothing more than an ordinary businessman’ – yet is seen undergoing clandestine missions in dark streets and being watched by suspicious-looking characters.

‘What happens if I get caught?’ he is seen asking. ‘I get executed, correct?’

He is seen back home again, clearly having to to-and-fro to Russia, his wife begging him not to go back.

Mission: He is told to 'sell the idea' that he is 'nothing more than an ordinary businessman' - yet is seen undergoing clandestine missions in dark streets and being watched by suspicious-looking characters

Mission: He is told to ‘sell the idea’ that he is ‘nothing more than an ordinary businessman’ – yet is seen undergoing clandestine missions in dark streets and being watched by suspicious-looking characters

True story: The film is based on the true story of Wynne and his Russian source, Oleg Penkovsky

True story: The film is based on the true story of Wynne and his Russian source, Oleg Penkovsky

Double agent: Penkovsky was codenamed Ironbark, which is an alternative name for movie. His crucial intelligence ended the Cuban Missile Crisis

Double agent: Penkovsky was codenamed Ironbark, which is an alternative name for movie. His crucial intelligence ended the Cuban Missile Crisis

Yet back he goes – vowing to bring back Soviet intelligence ‘at a time where Russia and America are on the brink of nuclear war!’

In thrilling scenes, he’s then seen with a sack put over his head – suggesting he indeed gets caught at one stage.

The film is based on the true story of Wynne and his Russian source, Oleg Penkovsky. 

Secrets and spies: At the behest of the UK's MI6 and a CIA operative (Brosnahan), he forms a covert, dangerous partnership

Secrets and spies: At the behest of the UK’s MI6 and a CIA operative (Brosnahan), he forms a covert, dangerous partnership

Watch your back: Sent off to Moscow, he is told to assume everyone he meets is KGB

Watch your back: Sent off to Moscow, he is told to assume everyone he meets is KGB

Coming soon: The Courier is scheduled to be released on 19 March 2021

Coming soon: The Courier is scheduled to be released on 19 March 2021

Penkovsky was codenamed Ironbark, which is an alternative name for movie. His crucial intelligence ended the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Penkovsky was engaged in selling arms and weapons secrets to British intelligence during the Cold War and he and Wynne struck up a bond after Wynne’s mission was uncovered.

Wynne was captured but eventually released in a deal that saw him exchanged for the spy Gordon Lonsdale in 1964.

Penkovsky was caught and faced death by firing squad but died ahead of this. It’s thought he killed himself in prison before the execution could take place.

The Courier had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival Sundance Film Festival on 24 January 2020, and is scheduled to be released in the United States and United Kingdom on 19 March 2021.

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