Last week, we got our first glimpse of Swiss Army Man star Daniel Radcliffe’s drastic makeover for the upcoming crime drama Imperium, which finds him portraying an FBI agent who goes undercover to infiltrate a Neo-Nazi terrorist organization. Based on the experiences of real-life operative Michael German (who served as a consultant for the script), the film is yet another opportunity for Radcliffe to show off his impressive range as a performer, and the first trailer gives us a better idea of just how different this will be from his previous roles.
It’s hard to say how much of German’s real-life undercover operations have been embellished for the sake of filmmaking, but at first glance, this doesn’t look particularly overblown or Hollywood-ized. Obviously in way over his head, Radcliffe seems to be doing a great job of embodying someone trying to be accepted by a group whose beliefs and methodology are completely at odds with his own, while still maintaining a grip on the ideals that define him. We’ve seen this sort of thing before – undercover stories aren’t exactly new to the Hollywood landscape – but the combination of this particular subject matter and Radcliffe’s talent and versatility make Imperium a bit more intriguing than it might have otherwise been.
Just in case the trailer didn’t spell things out well enough, here’s the official synopsis:
Nate Foster (Daniel Radcliffe), a young, idealistic FBI agent, goes undercover to take down a radical right-wing terrorist group. The bright up-and-coming analyst must confront the challenge of sticking to a new identity while maintaining his real principles as he navigates the dangerous underworld of white supremacy.
Co-starring Toni Collette, Tracy Letts, Nestor Carbonell, Burn Gorman and Sam Trammell, Imperium is slated for a VOD and limited theatrical release on August 19.
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