A Most Wanted Man (2014)

Inspired by true events.

A Most Wanted Man takes place in present day Hamburg, Germany where a mysterious, tortured and near-dead half-Chechen, half-Russian man on the run arrives in the city’s Islamic community desperate for help and looking to recover his late Russian father’s ill-gotten fortune. Nothing about this young man seems to add up; is he a victim or a thief or, worse still, an extremist intent on destruction? Drawn into this web of intrigue is a private British banker and a young female lawyer (Rachel McAdams) determined to defend the defenseless. All the while, they are being watched by the brilliant, roguish chief of a covert German spy unit (Hoffman), who fights to put the pieces together as the clock ticks.


Rachel as: Annabel Richter
Other cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman (Günther Bachmann), Grigoriy Dobrygin (Issa Karpov), Willem Dafoe (
Tommy Brue), Daniel Brühl (Maximilian), Robin Wright (Martha Sullivan), Nina Hoss (Irna Frey)
Alternative Title: John le Carré’s A Most Wanted Man
Directed by: Anton Corbijn
Written by: Andrew Bovell (screenplay), John le Carré (novel)
Production Status: Available on DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital HD
World Premiere: January 19, 2014 at Sundance Film Festival
Theatrical Release: July 25, 2014 (US, Limited) | September 12, 2014 (UK)
Genre: Thriller
Rated: R for language
Distributor: Alliance Films Company (UK)
Run time: 112 min
Production budget: $15.000.000 (Estimated)
Box office: $17,237,855 (US) | $36,233,517 (Worldwide)
Producers: Andrea Calderwood, Simon Cornwell, Stephen Cornwell, Gail Egan, Sam Englebardt, Solveig Fina, Malte Grunert, William D. Johnson, John le Carré, Arno Neubauer, Tessa Ross, Helge Sasse
Original Music by: Herbert Grönemeyer
Cinematography by: Benoît Delhomme

Related Media

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Production Notes

The Canadian-born actress Rachel McAdams, whose most recent roles include Midnight in Paris and About Time, is Annabel Richter, the idealistic, slightly naive, human-rights lawyer who tries to help the mysterious Chechen Issa Karpov. Annabel forms the nexus of a triangle that encompasses Karpov and Bachmann. Both men want something from her and she stands between the two of them.

“Bachmann sees Annabel as someone who has made some choices which he thinks are pretty clumsy and are only going to hurt people, not help them,” says Hoffman. “He deals with her pretty roughly. But it’s for a reason.”

McAdams says she was drawn to the theme of loneliness in the film.

“They are all people who are seeking out love, different kinds of love in different kinds of ways, whether it’s love of God or spirituality or physical love of another human being or misplaced or unrequited love,” she says. “Anton is focused on how they reach out to each other and the ways in which they choose to be alone.”

Many actors were interested in the key part of Issa Karpov, the titular ‘most wanted man’. But Corbijn was keen to cast a fairly unknown actor to play the hunted, haunted Chechen, preferably from Eastern Europe. “Issa was a hard one to cast,” he admits. “Grigoriy was a good find. It’s great to find someone people don’t know.”

Grigoriy Dobrygin is well known in his native Russia for the hit film How I Ended This Summer. The film’s casting teams in the UK and Germany both came up with Dobrygin’s name.

“It was quite obvious when he came in to audition that he had this magnetism in his eyes, this intensity,” says producer Gail Egan. “We all just sat there going, ‘wow’. And he grew us a great beard!”

Dobrygin had most of his scenes with McAdams. She points out he and Corbijn are the perfect match. “Anton is so economical sometimes,” says McAdams. “He says so much with so little in the way he shoots the scenes. There’s just a glance sometimes or just a feeling, something happening between the characters that doesn’t necessarily have to be spoken or expanded on beyond that. Grigoriy is really good in those moments and mines them. He has a real presence, which Issa needs to have. The audience should be on uncertain ground with him and he does that very well. There’s real mystery there.”

Continue to read production notes

Production Process

The film started principal photography on September 24, 2012 in Hamburg (Germany) and is expected to wrap up late November 2012.

Trivia & Facts

  • Rachel named Philip Seymour Hoffman as her favorite actor in 2009, it’s the first time they work together in a film.
  • Carey Mulligan, Amy Adams and Jessica Chastain were considered for the role of Annabel Richter, but Rachel was cast in stead.
  • Quotes from Rachel

    “It’s in Hamburg, which I’ve never been to before, and where the book is set. Philip Seymour is in it, whom I’m over the moon I get to meet and work with. She’s a great character, this German lawyer. She’s a big bike rider, so I’ll ride around the city a lot.”
    On the movie (Entertainment Weekly)

    “I’m about to play a girl who is German and even just learning the dialect and the flavor of the German sound informs this new kind of person in me. Sometimes the further from what you imagine yourself to be the better, because then you find you’re probably closer to those people than you think. I’ve learned that you’ve always got yourself to fall back on. Ultimately, hopefully, you’re brining yourself to everything, and that will always be there.”
    On doing a German accent (Vs. Magazine)

    Quotes from Cast & Crew

    Coming Soon

    Critical Reception

    “One of the pleasant surprises is the beautiful and talented Rachel McAdams, which immediately makes you think, “where has she been?” While she has been making her rounds in independent films like Passion, About Time, and To the Wonder, her role as “Annabel” shows a deeper talent that is aching to be realized by the right director. Internalizing emotions and releasing only when called upon, McAdams turns in her one of her strongest turns yet. Not your A-typical “damsel in distress” or “unbelievable tough chick,” McAdams reinvents a character that could have just laid on the screen with no emotion. She relaxes herself into the role, working well off some of the screen’s most gifted performers. It’s a magnificent work.”
    Clayton Davis (Award Circuit)

    “Not only is Hoffman at the top of his form here, the rest of the cast, including Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, German stars Nina Hoss and Daniel Brühl and Russian Grigoriy Dobrygin, have committed themselves fully as well […] That would be the young, beautiful, idealistic Annabel Richter (a completely convincing McAdams), who works for a human rights organization called Sanctuary North.”
    Kenneth Turan (Los Angeles Times)

    The movie currently holds a 87% rating at Rotten Tomatoes (Certified Fresh) and 73 score at Meta Critics

    Awards & Nominations

    ★ 2014 National Board of Review for Top Ten Independent Films
    ☆ 2014 Deauville Film Festival for Grand Special Prize
    ☆ 2014 Edinburgh International Film Festival for Audience Award

    ★ = win ☆ = nomination | View entire list at IMDB

    Promotional Tour

    January 19th 2014 Sundance Film Festival Variety Studio Images Videos
    January 19th 2014 Sundance Film Festival Premiere Arrivals | After Party Videos
    January 19th 2014 Sundance Film Festival THR Lounge Images Videos
    July 22nd 2014 The Today Show Images Videos
    July 22nd 2014 New York Premiere Arrivals | After Party Videos

    View our news archive for the full news feed of this project