Martin Freeman Joins Diane Kruger in Spy Thriller 'The Operative'

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The 'Black Panther' actor will play a former spy handler in the espionage tale.

Martin Freeman is set to star opposite Diane Kruger in The Operative, an international espionage thriller from writer-director Yuval Adler and financier Black Bear Pictures.

Freeman will play Thomas, a former handler to Kruger's character, Rachel, recruited by Israeli intelligence agency Mossad to go undercover in Tehran. The only clue to Rachel's whereabouts is a cryptic phone call she places to Thomas, who is then summoned from Germany to Israel by Mossad.

With Rachel’s life immersed in her assignments as part of a vast espionage effort against Iran’s nuclear program, Thomas must retrace her steps to determine what threats she may now pose to their operation, while also working to protect her. Cas Anvar was earlier cast as Farhad, Rachel's love interest.

BLOOM is handling international sales on The Operative, and will launch the project to foreign buyers in Cannes. Production on the indie pic will start in Israel in June, before shifting to Bulgaria and Germany.

The Operative was adapted from the Israeli book The English Teacher, written by former Israeli intelligence officer Yiftach Reicher Atir and based on real-life stories of Mossad operatives. Spiro Films’ Eitan Mansuri, Archer Gray’s Anne Carey and Match Factory Production’s Michael Weber and Viola Fugen are producing.

Black Bear's Teddy Schwarzman will executive produce and finance the film. Le Pacte’s Jean Labadie is co-producing the pic, which is supported by the Israeli Film Fund and Film and Medienstiftung NRW.

Freeman plays Dr. John Watson in BBC's Sherlock series and is also known for his role as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit franchise.

The actor is repped by UTA and Creative Artists Management.