Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre Cast: Where You've Seen The Actors Before
If there was a Mt. Rushmore created to honor the heroes of the all-time greatest spy movies, I think it would be unanimously agreed that it should include Matt Damon’s title hero from the Jason Bourne movies, Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt from the Mission: Impossible movies, and one of the James Bond actors (which one of them it should be is up to you to decide). For my choice of the fourth head, I would like to submit Jason Statham as Orson Fortune in Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre.
It may seem a little early to give such an honor to the main hero of this new 2023 movie (which just came out in theaters today), but once you see how fun co-writer and director Guy Ritchie’s old school espionage thriller is, you might find yourself agreeing with me. Of course, Statham’s character is just one reason why the film is so irresistibly entertaining. To get a clear understanding of the other reasons, you could ether check out the official trailer or stick around and take a look at the rest of the Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre cast, starting with the title role.
Jason Statham (Orson Fortune)
Highly skilled (and very picky) special operative Orson Fortune is only the latest character in a Guy Ritchie movie that Jason Statham has played, having launched his acting career at the same time that the filmmaker launched his directing career with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels in 1998. The British duo would reunite again for 2002’s Snatch, 2008’s Revolver, the earnest revenge thriller Wrath of Man in 2021, and this film, most recently.
Statham would also earn a storied action star reputation outside of his collaborations with Ritchie as a main player in a few franchises — including the Transporter movies (until bailing on the fourth film), the Expendables movies as Lee Christmas, the Fast and Furious movies (including his own spin-off with Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs) as Deckard Shaw, and creature feature The Meg, which is getting a sequel in 2023. He also appeared in one of the last John Carpenter movies (Ghosts of Mars), played a good bad guy in Cellular, had a memorable cameo in Collateral, and poked fun at the spy genre in 2015’s aptly titled, Spy.
Aubrey Plaza (Sarah Fidel)
As the sharp-tongued and vivacious expert in hacking (among other things) Sarah Fidel, we have Aubrey Plaza, whose charming, dry wit that she brings to the film is what made her an MVP in the Parks and Recreation cast as April Ludgate. She has also stolen the show or led it wonderfully in comedy movies like Funny People, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, and Hulu’s Happiest Season.
Plaza has also been known to show her more serious side, such as when she played the homicidal Cat Adams on Criminal Minds, played a mental patient on FX’s Marvel-inspired series Legion, starred in the 2019 Child’s Play remake, and played the title role of Emily the Criminal, which she also produced. This is just the latest instance of her channeling her more serious and more comedic sensibilities in the same project, following the likes of Safety Not Guaranteed, the darkly comic, romantic horror movie, Life After Beth, and HBO’s The White Lotus Season 2 in 2022.
Josh Hartnett (Danny Francesco)
In order to get close to a target, Orson and Sarah’s crew enlist the help of movie star Danny Francesco, who is played by Statham’s fellow Wrath of Man cast member, Josh Hartnett, who made his debut in one of the more underrated Halloween movies, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, in 1998 — the same year he appeared in another cult favorite horror flick, The Faculty. He would later return to the genre by leading 2007’s grisly vampire movie 30 Days of Night, playing Ethan Chandler on Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, and joining the upcoming sixth season of Black Mirror.
In between then, he starred in acclaimed coming-of-age dramas like The Virgin Suicides and the Shakespeare-inspired O, fact-based war movies like Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down, and worked with Bruce Willis in the Sin City cast and in 2006’s Lucky Number Slevin. More recently, he played himself on Quibi’s Die Hart, starred in the 2021 Neo-western movie Ida Red, and will star in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer cast as Ernest Lawrence.
Cary Elwes (Nathan Jasmine)
Nathan Jasmine — the one calling the shots (or struggling to do so) for Orson and Sarah’s crew — is just one of two spy movie characters that Aubrey Plaza’s Best Sellers co-star, Cary Elwes, is playing in 2023, as he is also in the Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One cast, which will mark his second collaboration with Tom Cruise after 1990’s Days of Thunder. Of course, he is still best known for his breakout role in 1987’s The Princess Bride cast as Westley, which led to more fantasy/medieval adventure movies like the criminally underrated ‘90s classic, Robin Hood: Men in Tights (in which he played the title role), the animated Quest for Camelot, and 2004’s Ella Enchanted with Anne Hathaway.
The British actor has also led an impressively versatile career that includes powerful period dramas like Glory, fun modern comedies like Liar Liar, blockbuster disaster flicks like Twister, and quite a few horror movies — most notably the Saw movies as Dr. Lawrence Gordon. Elwes was also on an episode of Seinfeld, worked with Steven Spielberg on 2011’s The Adventure of Tintin, and, in its third season, joined the Stranger Things cast.
Bugzy Malone (J.J.)
As the fourth member of Orson’s crew — the sharp-shooting J.J. — we have Bugzy Malone, who rose to fame in the U.K. as a rap music artist known for hits like “Out of Nowhere” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre is, actually, only his second film credit so far. In fact, Ritchie previously directed Malone (whose real name is Aaron Davis) in his feature-film debut, when he appeared in the filmmaker’s acclaimed return to British crime thrillers, The Gentlemen, in 2020.
Hugh Grant (Greg Simmonds)
Playing billionaire arms dealer — and Number One fan of Danny Francesco — Greg Simmonds is Bugzy Malone’s The Gentlemen co-star, Hugh Grant, who first worked with Ritchie in the filmmaker’s first try at espionage thrillers, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., in 2015. Before then, his main claim to fame was romantic-comedies — such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love Actually, and the Bridget Jones movies, to name a few.
However, Grant has also been known to branch out into more challenging and versatile roles, too, such as his multiple parts in Cloud Atlas, the main villain of Paddington 2, U.K. politician Jeremy Thorpe in the miniseries A Very British Scandal, or the voice of the Captain in 2012’s The Pirates! Band of Misfits. More recently, he appeared opposite Nicole Kidman in HBO’s The Undoing, appeared as Benoit Blanc’s husband in Netflix’s Glass Onion, and joined the Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves cast for the upcoming adventure epic.
With a title like the one this film boasts — which includes a name-check for the central hero and an exotic phrase following a colon — I cannot help but wonder if it is Ritchie’s intention to launch a new franchise of spy thrillers with this release. If so, I certainly hope the goal proves successful because the chemistry between the Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre cast members is strong enough to warrant another adventure, in my opinion.