What the Hell is This Amazon Spy Series?

When Amazon Prime Video announced Citadel, it came out with guns blazing. The new spy series is set to cost something around $200 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter, making it the second-most expensive show of all time behind The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power (which is also produced by Amazon). With that much cash on the line, what are we in for? More on that soon.

Unlike Rings of Power, Citadel is attempting to franchise itself without prior and/or popular IP. Joe and Anthony Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Gray Man) are leading the charge as executive producers, with multiple spinoffs already in development before their debut episode even aired. On top of that—Citadel has a pretty complicated story on its hands, including multiple timelines, twists, and double-crosses. “Oh, my God, it’s near impossible,” Citadel creator David Weil told NationalWorld about the plot. “It’s a symphonic piece.”

Even the cast, led by Richard Madden (The Bodyguard, Game of Thrones) and Priyanka Chopra (Quantico), seem a bit confused by their characters. “Mason is a very complicated man,” Madden told Collider. “He just has a whole bunch of unknown to him.” Chopra also teased in an interview with ScreenRant, “all the characters operate in gray… living in blurred lines.” OooooOOOoooh. Spooky spy stuff. But if Madden and Chopra can’t really give us a clear idea of Citadel‘s story, how is the audience to piece together whatever the hell is going on ourselves? Well, readers—your mission, should you choose to accept it—may contain more questions than answers. Below, we tried to answer the $200-million question: What the hell is Citadel?

What is Citadel? Who Is Citadel? Why Is Citadel?

The most hilarious aspect of all this vagueness is that Citadel is the easiest-to-comprehend spy show I’ve ever seen. There are good spies (Citadel) and there are bad spies (Manticore). We’re on the side of the good one! (Sorry: Citadel doesn’t give anyhing close to Mission: Impossible twists, stunts, or face-off reveals.) Citadel is, as Stanley Tucci’s man in the chair character explains, a global spy network that works for the general good of humanity. They are beholden to no country, and have allegedly been directly responsible for events such as the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, the establishment of the International Space Station, and the doomsday aversion of Y2K. As Stanley the Spy Tucci explains, “The last line of defense for good in the world.”

Mason Kane (Madden) and Nadia Sinh (Chopra) are the last two remaining Citadel agents after they were betrayed and the spy network was wiped out. Manticore, the evil crime syndicate, is responsible for that attack, as well as everything bad in the world—war, famine, poverty, etc. But Lesley Manville (Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris) is working behind the scenes as the primary antagonist for Manticore. If you’ve got Manville in charge, then some part of the job must be lovely.

Now, you might wonder about the show’s assertion that Citadel was truly doing good work shaping the events of the last century in some secret spy war with Manticore. Well, Citadel doesn’t really care to elaborate there—at least in the first three episodes.

This content is imported from twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Back to the show. Our only problem is that Mason Kane was in a big accident the day that Manticore destroyed Citadel, so he doesn’t remember being a spy. He wakes up in an Italian hospital with no fingerprints, identity, or medical history. Eight years later, he has a wife, a kid, and a normal life. So, did he just think, OK, fresh start, and not try to uncover his past? All I know is that if I woke up as a super handsome man in an Italian hospital and the doctor told me that there was no record of me ever existing, I would think that I was a spy. First thing. But the Jason Bourne-like hero starts to remember his past immediately once Tucci brings him back into the fold—and it’s perfect timing. Manticore is currently trying to get “every nuclear weapon in the world.” Sure!

This content is imported from youTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

There’s Already a Plan for Spinoffs?

Yes. Amazon is planning many, many more shows—all within the new Citadel universe. “Jennifer Salke pitched us the idea originally, and she runs Prime,” Joe Russo told ScreenRant. “Her idea was, Look, I want to make a show that has a US flagship, and that can splinter off into regional shows made with talent from those regions in those local languages… because these are global spies, and they’re on a chase around the world. You do certainly get that travelogue element that goes along with the spy genre. I think hopefully we subvert it and surprise you in different ways. There are a lot of twists and turns in the show, and you have to really pay attention to keep up with it.”

According to Collider, the first announced spinoff is already in production in Italy. Prime Video is also developing an Indian spinoff directed by Raj and DK, as well as a series set in Mexico. The flagship Citadel series has also been renewed for Season Two, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It feels a little bit like Marvel announcing The Avengers before Iron Man even premiered. Now, Amazon has the Russo brothers themselves planning an entirely different franchise.

When Can I Start Watching?

Citadel is set to release the first two episodes on Amazon Prime Video this Friday, April 28. The first installment will arrive as a six-part series, released weekly, with much more content planned for the future. Stay tuned to find out if kicking off a franchise in reverse is a viable option.

This content is imported from youTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Headshot of Josh Rosenberg

Assistant Editor

Josh Rosenberg is an Assistant Editor at Esquire, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day. His past work can be found at Spin, CBR, and on his personal blog at Roseandblog.com.

Source link

Leave a Comment