‘Personal Shopper’ Director Olivier Assayas Helming Spy Thriller ‘Wasp Network’
After he lit up last year’s Cannes Film Festival with Kristen Stewart starrer Personal Shopper, Olivier Assayas is back at it again, this time with an adaptation of a book about Cuban spies in America during the 1990’s called Wasp Network.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fernando Morais’ book The Last Soldiers of the Cold War deals with the true story of a Cuban terrorist network based in Florida and Central America during the ’90s that fired back against violent American anti-Castro groups. Cuba retaliated against these attacks by setting up the “Wasp Network,” made up of fourteen members, whose job was to infiltrate the American anti-fascist organizations, with the consent of the U.S. government. According to the book’s synopsis:
Through the 1980s and 1990s, violent anti-Castro groups based in Florida carried out hundreds of military attacks on Cuba, bombing hotels and shooting up Cuban beaches with machine guns. The Cuban government struck back with the Wasp Network—a dozen men and two women—sent to infiltrate those organizations.
The Last Soldiers of the Cold War tells the story of those unlikely Cuban spies and their eventual unmasking and prosecution by US authorities. Five of the Cubans received long or life prison terms on charges of espionage and murder.
Assayas was awarded Best Director at Cannes last year for Personal Shopper, and was nominated for the Palme d’Or in 2014 for his previous film Clouds of Sils Maria. This sounds like it’ll be his first big nonfiction thriller, and it’ll be interesting to see how that kind of story works with his personal contemplative moviemaking style. The story of the Cuban Five is fascinating, and all the more relevant now with America’s evolving relationship with Cuba.