The first trailer for Guy Ritchie’s The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (2024) has been released. Starring Henry Cavill, Alex Pettyfer, Eiza González Reyna and Alan Ritchson, the movie covers the establishment of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) during the Second World War and its covert and irregular operations throughout the conflict.
The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is based on the book of the same name by Damien Lewis. Paramount Pictures secured the rights in 2015, with Guy Ritchie joining on as director six years later. Jerry Bruckheimer also signed on as producer. Filming began in Turkey in February 2023 and ended that April.
As aforementioned, Henry Cavill stars in the project, portraying Maj. Gus March-Phillipps, while Alan Ritchson will be playing famed Danish soldier Maj. Anders Lassen.
Speaking about the project on Instagram back in April 2023, Cavill said, “It’s rare to come across a team so driven, dedicated and committed to the storytelling. That drive and dedication is only intensified by having a leader such as Guy Ritchie. His ability to weave story and create character might be second to none, and he wields it like it were magic.
“Those ingredients – skill, drive, and exceptional talent at the top – are only three ingredients needed for an experience that will last forever in memory. The fourth is happiness,” he continued. “Guy creates happiness on his set, it’s a joyful place to be, full of laughter and japes and jests. The crew and cast’s approach and personality is key in this. Everyone, without fail, was able to enjoy themselves while also working hard and being exceptional.”
The Special Operations Executive was founded in July 1940 by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Hugh Dalton, the minister of economic warfare. The idea was to put together a group of spies capable of not only conducting sabotage, espionage and reconnaissance operations in German-occupied areas and the Far East, but also aiding underground resistance movements.
The group went by a host of names, including the “Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” and the “Baker Street Irregulars,” due to the methods with which they completed their missions. They were led by Brig. Colin Gubbins, a Commando officer whose use of irregular warfare went back to the Irish War of Independence.
Among their most notable accomplishments was the destruction of the Norsk Hydro Plant in 1943, where the Germans were producing heavy water for the regime’s atomic bomb program. They also routinely bombed trains and transports, conducted guerrilla warfare and established spy cells across the continent.
The SOE was most active in the likes of France and Poland. By the end of World War II, over 13,000 operatives had contributed to the group’s efforts. One of its members was Ian Fleming, the author behind James Bond.
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The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is slated for release in American theaters on April 19, 2024.