Joe Wright and George Clooney’s The Department Starts Filming in London This Month

Image Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

The filming of Paramount+ with Showtime’s political thriller series ‘The Department’ is set to commence in London, England, this month. Directed by Joe Wright, the show is based on the French spy thriller ‘The Bureau.’ Jez and John-Henry Butterworth are writing all ten episodes of the series. George Clooney and Grant Heslov executive produce with Wright, the Butterworths, David C. Glasser, and 101 Studios.

The series revolves around a Directorate General for External Security (DGSE) department called the Legends Office (LBDL), which trains and directs the so-called clandestine agents, who are immersed in foreign countries and whose mission is to identify people likely to be recruited as sources of information. Operating in the shadows, “under legend,” that is to say under a fabricated identity from scratch, they live for many years in permanent concealment.

In the original show, Guillaume Debailly AKA Malotru returns from a six-year clandestine mission in Syria but in violation of security rules as he does not seem to have abandoned his legend and the identity under which he lived in Damascus. His love affair with the Syrian Nadia El Mansour seriously complicates things and in particular, leads him to play a double game between the DGSE and the CIA.

Wright helmed Sky’s drama series ‘M. Son Of The Century,’ which is based on Antonio Scurait’s book of the same name. His most recent feature is the period drama ‘Cyrano,’ starring Peter Dinklage. His recent credits also include Netflix’s ‘The Woman in the Window’ and Gary Oldman-starrer ‘Darkest Hour.’ The Butterworths are known for co-writing ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ and Christian Bale and Matt Damon-starrer ‘Ford v Ferrari.’

As per reports, Michael Fassbender is in talks to join the series as well. The actor played Thomas Rongen in ‘Next Goal Wins,’ the titular assassin in David Fincher’s ‘The Killer,’ and Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto in ‘Dark Phoenix.’

Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of Showtime and Paramount Media, in a statement, said, “‘The Department,’ based on the riveting and brilliant series ‘The Bureau,’ will follow in the great tradition of ‘Homeland,’ one of the most successful and brand-defining shows at Showtime.” He further added, “Just as ‘Homeland’ elevated global espionage to new heights, ‘The Department’ will take viewers even deeper into a world of intrigue and subterfuge with complicated characters who struggle with their own demons as they fight existential threats to the nation and the world.”

Berger, the President of The Originals Productions, showed excitement about collaborating with MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios and extending the DNA of ‘The Bureau’ via ‘The Department’ for Showtime. He added, “The Originals Productions (TOP), Federation, and Paramount are taking our franchise to the next level, making a new high-stake international espionage show set today in a very complex geopolitical environment.” A remake of ‘The Bureau,’ also called ‘The Department,’ written and directed by Peter Landesman, was previously in development at AMC.

London, the principal filming location of the series, has recently served as the backdrop for Netflix’s Leo Woodall and Ambika Mod-starrer romantic-comedy ‘One Day‘ and Apple TV+’s action-thriller series ‘Masters of the Air,’ featuring Callum Turner, Anthony Boyle, and Austin Butler.

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