BRIDGE OF SPIES
Tom Hanks in a spy movie? Sounds amazing! I can’t wait to see how Steven Spielberg and Hanks bring the life of an ordinary Brooklyn insurance lawyer, who ‘s pulled into a world of espionage by the CIA, to life. This period movie brings us back to the cold war and shares the story of a man who’s asked to risk everything to negotiate the release of an American U-2 pilot captured by the Russians.
Based on the real-life account of James Donovan by screenwriters Ethan and Joel Coen and Matt Charman and directed by Steven Spielberg. Amy Ryan plays Donovan’s wife, Mark Rylance as a KGB agent, Scott Shepherd is a CIA operative, Sebastian Koch plays an East German lawyer, and Alan Alda plays Thomas Watters, a partner in the law firm.
Creating the Cold War
Set in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the principle filming locations had to look the part. The crew shot for 12 weeks in New York, Poland, and Germany, which happen to be the very places in which the events took place so many years ago. They made use of Wall Street including Metro station on Broad Street as well as Foley Square. The New York Bar Association building in mid-town served as the offices of Donovan’s law firm. The Donovan family home was filmed in a residential area of Brooklyn in a house with a front porch and small back yard they thought felt right for the family; however, the interior of the house was built on a Steiner Studios soundstage in Brooklyn. The 1960’s subway cars were authentic and provided by the New York Metropolitan Transportation 5 Authority, who also provided access to the Broad Street subway station. Posters, signage, and lighting was swapped out to evoke the period feel of the film.
In Berlin, the iconic Gilenicke Bridge, which separated East and West Berlin back in the cold war days, was shut down to allow filming. It plays a pivotal part in the film and took months to prepare. The production also travelled to Wrolcaw, Poland. In the movie, this city is a stand-in for Berlin because of the economic hardship and years of neglect that has left it looking like a wartorn city.
I’ll be sharing more about this film as its debut nears.