To date there are few Hollywood films in which an action packed, high intensity plot features a badass female lead. Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill saga immediately springs to mind as one of the greats of this sub-genre, but upcoming titles like Wonder Woman as well as Ghost in the Shell could also potentially reach similar heights and even give new life to the concept.
And while Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron has a diverse list of roles she’s played – many of which involve high stakes action or fantasy – in this summer’s Atomic Blonde, she’ll play an undercover agent with no shortage of butt kicking ability. Theron purchased the rights to the Antony Johnston graphic novel The Coldest City five years ago and the story has since been adapted as Atomic Blonde, with her in the lead as British MI6 spy Lorraine Broughton.
Until now we’ve only had a poster to give us a vague idea of the tone that Atomic Blonde will be going for. Now thanks to EW, three new images have arrived, which can all be seen below. One of the images is particularly striking, as it focuses on Theron taking on two attackers with no small amount of fury. The second photo has Theron looking cool and collected yet somehow lethal, while the final image has Theron and co-star James McAvoy (Split) walking alongside the infamous Berlin Wall.
Atomic Blonde takes place in Berlin, in 1989 – a time when Communism still divided the city and the Berlin Wall was in its final days. Broughton (Theron) is sent to Berlin in order to retrieve a dossier of double agents who are being smuggled into the west. While on the mission, she pairs up with fellow spy David Percival (McAvoy) and the two take on a mysterious – and lethal – espionage ring. The film is directed by upcoming Deadpool 2 director, David Leitch and also stars John Goodman (Kong: Skull Island), Toby Jones (Sherlock) and Sofia Boutella (Star Trek Beyond). Theron seemed drawn to the character of Lorraine Broughton from the beginning and had this to say about her:
“I hadn’t seen another character like her out there. She doesn’t apologize for anything. We made her strong and feisty. She’s cheeky. These were all things I responded to.”
Though these initial images aren’t much to go by, they do help define the sort of character Theron will be playing. The image of her fighting the two attackers, for example, seems vaguely reminiscent of Kill Bill, while hinting at a Jason Bourne sort of anything goes brutality. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Atomic Blonde will be on the same level as these classic action films, but it certainly is a welcome change for the action movie genre. What’s more, the images are quite stylized – just what one would expect from a graphic novel adaptation.
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of Atomic Blonde is that in this era of franchise filmmaking, a warm reception from audiences could equal a Lorraine Broughton franchise. While the idea of Gillian Anderson as Jane Bond became something of an Internet sensation last year, having an actual female spy franchise with plenty of action just might end up being yet another of Charlize Theron’s impressive achievements as an actor.