Love Thy Keepers (2018)
001Lithium X (2018)
Official Site. Photos. IMDb
The Snowman (2017)
Role: Filip Becker
Release: Oct. 20 2017
Role: Colonel Winnant
Release: May 2017
Chicken/Egg (short film 2016)
Release: Febr. 2017
Role: Henry Howell
Release: 26 April 2016
Agent Carter (TV Series 2016, S.2)
Role: Edwin Jarvis
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Damascus Cover finally reaches the big screen
- Category: Latest updates
Way back in 2014, James D'Arcy was slated to begin filming an espionage thriller "The Damascus Cover" with Daniel Spencer to start on October 13, 2014 in Morocco, when he suddenly dropped out. On IMDB September 2014, we learned James could no longer do it and Jonathan Rhys Meyers was taking over the role. The filming didn't start till the following year, wrapping on March 24, 2015
After two years, we finally have an interesting back story as to why James had to leave this interesting project . Here are excerpts from The Times of Israel, "From Damascus to Jerusalem, a 39-year-old novel reaches the big screen" published today.
It was director Daniel Berk who pulled the 1979 thriller off the shelf of a Tel Aviv friend’s home library, and then emailed Kaplan, asking for the rights to develop the book as a screenplay. That was eleven years ago.
Berk emailed Kaplan each year for the next eight years, asking for permission to renew the option, until he finally raised enough funding in 2014, said Kaplan.
In Kaplan’s novel, washed-up Israeli spy Ari Ben Sion takes on the mission of heading to Syria to save the children of a Jewish family, while posing as an ex-Nazi officer. His handlers at the Mossad have other plans for him that become clear during his time in Damascus, and it’s those twists and turns that made the novel popular, said Kaplan.
The $5 million movie, which was filmed in Israel and Morocco — “it’s cheaper there,” said Kaplan — had several cast changes before last winter’s seven-week filming got underway.
The first set of cast members included actors James D’arcy and Abigail Spencer, but changes in D’arcy’s own career ended up forcing him to leave the film. Berk also opted for several European Union actors, who are often less expensive to hire than American actors for tax reasons.
The casting agent was given a list of eleven European Union actors who were available to start working in three weeks time for the seven-week shoot, and out of the eleven actors, Rhys Meyers was the only name the agent recognized, “so she chose him,” said Kaplan.
In October, Rhys Meyers sliced a tendon in his hand, and filming was delayed again until February. By that point, Spencer took another offer, and they replaced her with Olivia Thirlby (“Juno, “Dredd”), who, said Kaplan, played the role a little “sexier.” Rhys-Meyers, he said, “really inhabited the film.”
Kaplan with Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Olivia Thrilby on the Morocco set (photo by Howard Kaplan)
Hurt, who has a home in Morocco, offered them five days of filming, from a Sunday through Friday, so he could make the 5 p.m. train in order to spend the weekend in his home. Avni showed up several times, as he lived “nearby” in Israel, and could easily hop over whenever he was needed for filming.
Rhys Meyers, or “Johnny,” as Kaplan said he likes to be called, once lived in Morocco as well, and was more available to spend time with the crew, said Kaplan, who shared dinner with him at the end of filming.
The film, which depicts Syria at a far different period than the current civil war, is now set in 1989, following the fall of the Berlin Wall.
We're glad that this film finally made it from the pages of a novel in 1979 to the big screen in 2016 and everything worked out well in the end.
James gave up Damascus Cover to be Jarvis in Agent Carter, who is not quite a spy, so we hope James may find another exciting thriller such as this in the future, maybe without having to shave his head again, hopefully.
The film is in post-production and here's a trailer: