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A Most Wanted Man (2014) Poster

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Penultimate completed movie of the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.
This film's story is set in Hamburg. Source novel author John le Carré worked for British intelligence's MI5 & MI6 during the 1950s and 1960s and worked in both Berlin and Hamburg. Le Carré was in Berlin when the Berlin Wall was being constructed. In Hamburg, Le Carré has worked as both a consul and as an agent.
Philip Seymour Hoffman died a week after the premiere of the film at the Sundance Film Festival.
First ever filmed production collaboration of John le Carré with both and each of his sons, Simon Cornwell and Stephen Cornwell. The latter pair are producers on this film whilst le Carré is the author of the film's source novel, "A Most Wanted Man" (2008), as well as many other spy novels. John le Carré's real birth name is "David Cornwell", with his actual full name being "David John Moore Cornwell", sharing the same "Cornwell" last name surname as his sons, Simon Cornwell and Stephen Cornwell. The Night Manager (2016) became the second collaboration and Our Kind of Traitor (2016) the third collaboration of the sons with their father who again also wrote both of these two productions' source novels.
John le Carré's source novel 'A Most Wanted Man' is based on the real life of Murat Kurnaz, a Muslim Turkish citizen and legal resident of Germany who was arrested in Pakistan in late 2001 and with the German government's awareness incarcerated by extraordinary rendition (aka irregular rendition) at US military base in Kandahar, Afghanistan and in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba for five years.
Director Anton Corbijn can be seen in a small cameo of about one second. During a press conference shown on a TV screen, he sits next to Homayon Ershadi (Abdullah).
Debut English language theatrical feature film of actress Nina Hoss.
A nine-minute mini-documentary of John le Carré talking about this movie's source novel at the Southbank Centre was released on 22 July 2008. The short was made by Simon Channing Williams who had produced the film adaptation of John le Carré's The Constant Gardener (2005).
Actresses Amy Adams, Carey Mulligan, and Jessica Chastain were all considered to play the lead female role of Annabel Richter which in the end was cast with actress Rachel McAdams. Chastain had recently starred in another espionage movie relating to terrorism, Zero Dark Thirty (2012).
The film's source book "A Most Wanted Man" is the twenty-first novel of author John le Carré.
This movie was filmed in various locations throughout Hamburg, Germany where John le Carré's novel is set.
The car Guenther Bachman drives in this movie, the W-126 S Mercedes, has a typical eighties' (W126 '79-'91) green metallic color. Towards the end, the Merc seems to have 'lost' a dent in a fender as well as to have changed color to metallic blue. Knowing the photographic skills of Anton Corbijn, this may be a matter of lighting.
This movie was made and released about five years after its source novel of the same name by John le Carré was first published in 2008.
Actress Rachel McAdams, in preparing for her role as Annabel Richter in A Most Wanted Man (2014), learned how to speak with a German accent.
Philip Seymour Hoffman can be seen drinking coffee from a mug featuring the character "Lilla My" which was created by artist and author Tove Jansson.
The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Philip Seymour Hoffman; and two Oscar nominees: Rachel McAdams and Willem Dafoe.
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Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Wright previously appeared in Empire Falls (2005) and Moneyball (2011).
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Star Philip Seymour Hoffman is seen smoking nineteen cigarettes during the film.
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The name of the nightclub where Annabel Richter (Rachel McAdams) and Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) try to shake off their pursuers is called "EGO" in Hamburg, Germany. It was the city's most well known scene-club for electronic music until it closed during mid-2014.
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Herbert Grönemeyer plays the role of Michael Axelrod. He is a very close friend to director Anton Corbijn. He is also the composer of this movie and Corbijn's former movie "The American". Corbijn directed several music videos for Grönemeyer and is working for him as a photographer for many years. Herbert Grönemeyer sold over 13 million copies of his album's and every album he released since 1984 went No.1 in Germany.
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The synopsis of this movie's source novel "A Most Wanted Man" (2008) by John le Carré on his personal website reads: "A half-starved young Russian man in a long black overcoat is smuggled into Hamburg at dead of night. He has an improbable amount of cash secreted in a purse round his neck. He is a devout Muslim. Or is he? He says his name is Issa. Annabel, an idealistic young German civil rights lawyer, determines to save Issa from deportation. Soon her client's survival becomes more important to her than her own career. In pursuit of Issa's mysterious past, she confronts the incongruous Tommy Brue, the sixty-year-old scion of Brue Frères, a failing British bank based in Hamburg. Poignant, compassionate, peopled with characters the reader never wants to let go, A Most Wanted Man is alive with humour, yet prickles with tension until the last heart-stopping page. It is also a work of deep humanity, and uncommon relevance to our times."
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The DVD sleeve notes state that "this is Philip Seymour Hoffman's last complete film role".
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The name of the shipping company which was based in Cyprus was the "Seven Friends Navigation Company".
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Director Anton Corbijn eulogized the film's star Philip Seymour Hoffman by saying: "He was a giant of a man".
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The film's closing credits dedication reads: "In loving memory of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Simon Channing Williams". Hoffman starred in this movie, whilst Williams was a producer on two filmed adaptations of John le Carré novels, this film and the earlier The Constant Gardener (2005). Moreover, the closing credits dedication for the next le Carré adaptation, Our Kind of Traitor (2016), reads: "In loving memory of Simon Channing Williams."
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The name of the German financial institution in Hamburg, Germany was the "Blue Frères Bank".
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Second espionage movie directed by Anton Corbijn. The first had been The American (2010) around four years earlier.
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The film's opening prologue states: "In 2001 Mohammad Atta conceived and planned the 9/11 attacks from the port city of Hamburg, Germany. Intelligence failures and interdepartmental rivalries allowed him and his team to prepare for the attacks without discovery or interference. Today Hamburg remains a city in high alert, the focus of both German and International Intelligence services, determined never to repeat the mistakes of 2001".
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Debut cinema movie as a producer of both Simon Cornwell and Stephen Cornwell, both sons of the film's source novelist John le Carré. The pair have gone on to produce to two more le Carré adaptations [to date, July 2016]. They are The Night Manager (2016) and Our Kind of Traitor (2016).
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Producer Stephen Cornwell, son of the film's source novelist John le Carré, was credited for "additional writing". This is the first ever shared writing credit of a cinema movie of le Carré with one of his sons.
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Gail Egan, one of the film's producers, said of this movie: "It is a very European story and so we were looking for a European director. We thought Anton's style and the whole way he saw the story was just so exciting. We had all seen Control (2007) and thought it was absolutely brilliant. The American (2010) was just about to come out when we first approached Anton [Corbijn]." [See: Anton Corbijn].
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Director Anton Corbijn, who knew the German city of Hamburg well, and had directed his very first music video for Palais Schaumburg in the city back in 1983, was intrigued by the subject matter. Corbijn said: "We are dealing with a world that has changed so much since 2001. We judge people very quickly, everything has to be black or white. I feel this is something that is affecting all of our lives."
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About twenty years prior to the making of this movie, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman had acted in a play in Hamburg, Germany where this film was set and shot .
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The movie first premiered in 2014 which was the 30th Anniversary year of the earlier filmed John le Carré adaptation of The Little Drummer Girl (1984). Both motion pictures deal with the subject of terrorism.
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Potboiler Productions, headed by Gail Egan and Andrea Calderwood, had previously turned John le Carré's 2001 novel "The Constant Gardener" into a multiple award-winning feature film directed by Fernando Meirelles in 2005 [See: The Constant Gardener (2005)]. In contrast to the sunshine-infused African setting of this earlier film, for A Most Wanted Man (2014), this time the producers needed a director who could capture the grey moodiness of contemporary Hamburg, one of the most diverse, vibrant and rich cities in Europe. The person hired to direct was Anton Corbijn.
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The Ink Factory is the production company set up by Simon Cornwell and Stephen Cornwell, the sons of source novelist John le Carré whose birth name was David Cornwell. Los Angeles-based Stephen is also a screenwriter whose credits include the Liam Neeson thriller Unknown (2011). A Most Wanted Man (2014) was their debut feature film as producers.
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The genealogy and nationality of the Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) character was half-Chechen and half-Russian.
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When star Philip Seymour Hoffman appeared in a play in Hamburg about twenty years before starring in this film which shot in Hamburg, on both occasions Hoffman stayed at the city's famed Hotel Atlantic.
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Director Anton Corbijn felt the film's source story by John le Carré had an autumnal feeling about it and so decided to shoot the film during the season of Autumn (aka Fall in the USA).
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According to the movie's official website, the film's source novelist "John le Carré first came to know Hamburg during the Cold War years of the early 1960s, when he was posted there as Political Consul while working for the British government, and returned there more recently to research and write A Most Wanted Man."
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One of four filmed adaptations of John le Carré novels that have been made during the 2010s decade [to date, July 2016]. The productions are Our Kind of Traitor (2016), The Night Manager (2016), A Most Wanted Man (2014), and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
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The producers of the movie were able to access financial subsidies from Germany's federal incentive programme, the DFFF, as well as the regional German funds, the FilmForderung Hamburg Schelswig Holstein and the Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg. Of this, the film was financed in production subsidies from Hamburg's regional film body FilmFörderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein (FFHSH) to the value of EUR 900,000 euros which is approximately US $1.3 million. The production also received support from the European Media Production Guarantee Fund (EMPGF).
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German Production house "Amusement Park", based in two cities in Germany, Hamburg and Berlin, is headed by Malte Grunert. Malte joined the production at an early stage and ensured the film retained an authentic German flavor.
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The principal filming location of the picture was Hamburg in Germany where the high majority of the movie was filmed.
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This motion picture filmed during September and October 2012 entirely, wholly, and completely in Germany in Europe.
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The principal photography period on this picture ran for about forty days. This included thirty-eight days filming in Hamburg, the majority of the shoot, and at the end of principal photography, a further two days shooting in Berlin.
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Source novelist John le Carré himself visited the set several times, lending his backing and encouragement to the process. As a seasoned observer of the journey from page to screen, le Carré believes his novels need to evolve to make that transformation successfully. For that to happen, le Carré is happy to take a step back.
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Producer Stephen Cornwell said of the adaptation of his father John le Carré's "A Most Wanted Man" book into film: "The novel is his, but the movie will be Anton's [director Anton Corbijn's] and that's a transition he really supports and enjoys. What's interesting about the adaptation is that it is quite distinct from the novel. There is a whole aspect to the novel that isn't in the movie. It finds its own language and its own way of telling the story. But at the same time it is incredibly true to the intent of the story. It's exactly what a really good adaptation should be. It takes a novel, respects its intent but it becomes something of its own."
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With financing from the UK's Film4 secured, Australian writer Andrew Bovell, best-known for writing the complex, sophisticated Australian drama Lantana (2001), was asked to write the script. Lantana (2001) won 7 Australian Film Awards (aka AFI Awards, now called AACTA Awards) and was based on Bovell's own stage play called "Speaking in Tongues". Producer Stephen Cornwell said of the choice of Bovell as screenwriter: "We all had a huge respect for Lantana (2001) which really spoke to a lot of the levels of character intrigue and deception we wanted to have. Lantana (2001) also has the same richness of characterization and storytelling."
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Director Anton Corbijn and screenwriter Andrew Bovell met a couple of times, including once in Hamburg in Germany, to talk through the adaptation. Bovell wrote most of the script in Australia, with Corbijn preferring to wait until he had a finished version in his hands before putting his own mark on it. Corbijn explained: "I find it much easier to reach to the writing on the page. Once it's finished I try to make it a little bit more mine. That's the nature of how I work."
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Producer Stephen Cornwell said of the film's story: "One of the interesting things about A Most Wanted Man (2014) is that it doesn't really have an antagonist. It has lots of people who all believe they are doing the right thing but their reasons are all different. They come into conflict around one central objective, which is the most wanted man who they all see from a different perspective and want for different reasons."
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For many of the cast and crew, including director Anton Corbijn and Philip Seymour Hoffman, A Most Wanted Man (2014) was their introduction to John le Carré's novels. Hoffman observed: "This is a human and humane story about governments and spy organisations which is usually told in a flashier, romantic style. There's nothing romantic about this. The book is in there for which I'm glad, as the book is amazing."
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Putting together the first-class cast who portray the complex web of characters who inhabit the world of A Most Wanted Man (2014) was director Anton Corbijn's achievement. Producer Stephen Cornwell recalled: "Anton was singularly precise about who he thought should play each role. In almost every situation, those are the people who are in the movie."
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Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman worked with screenwriter Andrew Bovell on his characterization of Gunther Bachmann, a character for whom he came to have a great empathy. Hoffman said: "This movie is about a lot of things including, obviously, how countries deal with terrorism. But it's also about a man who keeps doing the same thing and getting the same result. You get the feeling he can't stop. He really feels like he's trying to do the right thing and I think, actually, he is. But the world isn't going along with his way of taking care of the bad guys of the planet. I was just so taken with his tunnel vision. He just thought 'It's going to work this time and they're going to see that I know, that I actually know'. That's a hard way to live, to be someone who thinks, 'if they could just see what I see, they'll get it'. But they never let him get there and he keeps going there. He suffers."
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First cinema movie adaptation of a John le Carré novel for around three years with the previous theatrical feature film adaptation having been Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
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The film was selected to compete and screened in the main competition section of both the 36th Moscow International Film Festival in June 2014 and the same year's 40th Deauville American Film Festival in September 2014. Previously, the picture had world premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014.
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One of two John le Carré cinema movie filmed adaptations edited by editor Claire Simpson. The motion pictures are The Constant Gardener (2005) and A Most Wanted Man (2014).
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About fifteen crew personnel worked on both the John le Carré cinema movie filmed adaptations The Constant Gardener (2005) and A Most Wanted Man (2014) which were both made and released around nine years apart.
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Cameo 

John le Carré: bearded white-haired man in the bar scene when Bachmann intervenes in a fight.

Director Cameo 

Anton Corbijn: Uncredited, as a man in Abdullah Video.
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