Since swapping Hogwarts for Hollywood Daniel Radcliffe has made some interesting, eclectic choices post Harry Potter. He’s been a tech whiz in Now You See Me 2, a farting corpse in Swiss Army Man and now he’s tackling the darker, more shady world of white supremacy in Imperium.
Based on a true story, Imperium stars Radcliffe as an idealistic FBI agent who goes undercover to infiltrate a radical right-wing terrorist group. It’s a grittier role than we’ve seen him tackle before, and it requires him to break out his American accent. And while it’s hard to tell if he nails it based on this trailer, it’s at least another attempt to resist falling into a comfort zone.
The story behind the film is fascinating. It’s the feature directing debut of Daniel Ragussis, who wrote the script with help from Michael German, the real-life agent on whom the film is based. German spent over a decade working for the FBI, often going undercover among white supremacist militias and in one case successfully foiling a plot to attack a black church. He eventually resigned in 2004 after blowing the whistle on FBI mismanagement. It gives the film an air of authenticity and nuance.
The full synopsis reads:
“Nate Foster (Daniel Radcliffe), a young, idealistic FBI agent, goes undercover to take down a radical right-wing terrorist group. The bright up-and-coming analyst must confront the challenge of sticking to a new identity while maintaining his real principles as he navigates the dangerous underworld of white supremacy. Inspired by real events, IMPERIUM stars Daniel Radcliffe, Toni Collette, Tracy Letts, with Nestor Carbonell, Burn Gorman and Sam Trammell.”
Imperium hits theaters and on demand August 19.
You can view the trailer here.