Berlin is crawling with Hollywood celebrities for the European premiere of "Atomic Blonde" on Monday evening. The South African actress Charlize Theron, a well-established name among Hollywood's elite, is already familiar with the German capital. In April, she presented her film "Fast & Furious 8" there - and is now back for "Atomic Blonde."
Charlize Theron is a Berlin pro
"I love Berlin," the actress told the press and fans during her spring visit to the city in which she has made a number of films.
"Atomic Blonde" was shot last year at multiple locations in central Berlin, including Breitscheidplatz and at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.
In the spy thriller set in 1989 just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Theron plays Lorraine Broughton, a hard-nosed agent who wears a platinum wig. She is tasked with collecting highly sensitive information for the British secret service, the MI-6, but her mission turns into a life-threatening game of cat and mouse due to the political turmoil of the time.
Broughton is assigned with blowing the covers of double agents. Her liaison officer in Berlin is David Percival (James McAvoy), and the two inevitably develop a close relationship over the course of the film - and not only in terms of spy matters.
Based on a comic
Directed by David Leitch, "Atomic Blonde" is based on a graphic novel by Anthony Johnston. Take a quick look at the online trailer and it's clear that the flick, which opens on July 28 in the US, will draw action fans in droves.
Theron plays the role of a brutally cool agent whose combat skills are on par with her sex appeal. As a female action lead, she joins the esteemed company of Angelina Jolie ("Lara Croft"), Scarlett Johannson ("Lucy," "Ghost in the Shell") and Gal Gadot ("Wonder Woman").
Action meets sex appeal
These female stars don't just impress with their quick moves but also with their looks - which gets both men and women into the cinemas.
"Atomic Blonde" is a clever mix of "James Bond," "Mission Impossible" and "The Bourne Identity." And when the platinum-haired Theron teams up with a brunette in Berlin and gets involved in sizzling sex scenes, a dash of "Basic Instinct" is also thrown in. Hollywood knows the ingredients behind a box office hit.
Theron establishes herself as an action star
While "Atomic Blonde" promises to have the recipe for success, Theron has secured her position as a top action star, the film the latest in a slew of lead roles in fast-paced action movies like "Fast & Furious 8" and "Mad Max: Fury Road."
It also makes Berlin all the more attractive for Hollywood producers, with Cold War Berlin also serving as a backdrop in several James Bond films, and more recently in Steven Spielberg's "Bridge of Spies."
Bit part for Til Schweiger
In Germany, "Atomic Blonde" has a particularly good chance of a strong showing at the box office. The film, which opens here in theaters on August 24, features German stars like Barbara Sukowa and Til Schweiger in smaller roles.
"Atomic Blonde" celebrated its international premiere at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, in March and will also be shows at the Locarno Film Festival in August.