A blockbuster art heist is set to hit the big screen in Red Notice, a new action film starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds.
Debuting in theaters on November 5 and on Netflix November 12, the film is about John Hartley (Johnson), an FBI agent who suddenly finds himself on the wrong side of the law when Sarah “the Bishop” Black (Gadot), the world’s most-wanted art thief, does some clever hacking to get him flagged with a Red Notice, an Interpol alert that classifies Hartley as a dangerous criminal on the most-wanted list.
To clear his name, Hartley is forced to team up with an unlikely ally: Nolan Booth (Reynolds), another art thief who is jealous that Bishop has surpassed him in notoriety—even though, as Bishop herself cautions, “trusting a thief can be dangerous.”
Directed and written by Rawson Marshall Thurber, the man behind such hits as DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story (2004) and We’re the Millers (2013), the film immediately appealed to its three leading actors due to is potent mix of comedy, thriller, drama, and action-adventure.
“That was all in Rawson’s script from the get-go,” Reynolds said in a statement. “The idea that we’re going to go find treasure, I mean that in and of itself was also wish fulfillment. Everybody loves a treasure hunt, me more than anyone. I love blowing dust and cobwebs off of ancient artifacts that are going to help us solve this mystery.”
The treasures in question are the fictional Cleopatra’s eggs, gleaming golden sculptures in the style of Faberge, but, of course, with a slight Egyptian twist. After Bishop frames him, Hartley enlists Booth to help him foil her plan to steal these “priceless” artifacts.
“If we catch her together, I can clear my name, and I can help you become the number one thief in the world again,” Hartley tells Booth in the trailer.
Booth’s prowess as a thief seems somewhat questionable, as he is seen invoking the “five second rule” when he clumsily drops one of said priceless eggs—although he does appear to have successfully gotten his hands on William Strang’s Lady in the Red Hat. Though Hartley alleges Booth stole it from the Tate in London, the real thing belongs to Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. (Booth, for his part, insists “you can’t prove that was me,” and that the painting hanging on his wall is from Etsy.)
Shot entirely in Atlanta due to the pandemic, the film nonetheless is a global adventure, with appearance from the Louvre in Paris and the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome featuring prominently in the promo.
“We had to build the Castel Sant’Angelo in the parking lot of Atlanta Metro Studios. We had to build the Russian prison in the parking lot. We couldn’t go to South America, so we built a jungle and a lagoon inside,” Thurber said.
Other highlights in the movie are set to include an extended dance scene between Bishop and Hartley film that pays homage to two thrillers set at least partially in the art world—1994’s True Lies, in which an art dealer is working for an Islamic terrorism group, and 1999’s art heist film The Thomas Crown Affair.