All The Old Knives: Director Janus Metz On Breathing New Life Into Spy Thrillers

How do you breathe new life into the spy thriller genre?

From Daniel Craig’s take on James Bond to several gritty John le Carré adaptations, it appears that there has already been a wide variety of espionage stories.

But many of these weren’t of interest to director Janus Metz, who wasn’t a fan of the spy genre before signing on to direct All The Old Knives. He was never more than a casual viewer, so knew he needed to put his own spin on it so he could embrace that world.

Amazon Studios

“I never wanted to subvert the spy thriller, but I did want a fresh take”, he explained to Zavvi.

“It’s not a historical thriller in the John le Carré tradition, or an action thriller in the Bond or Bourne tradition: it’s something I’ve never actually seen before.

“It’s a cat-and-mouse whodunnit taking place entirely around a dinner table, with a beautiful love story in the middle, about two powerful people who can’t have each other – and as we know from Romeo And Juliet, those are the best kinds of love stories!”

Amazon Studios

In the latest edition of our free digital magazine The Lowdown, we caught up with the director to discuss transforming a familiar genre and why Chris Pine makes the perfect spy.

Read it here.

All The Old Knives is now streaming on Prime Video.

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Alistair Ryder

Alistair Ryder


Alistair is a culture journalist and lover of bad puns from Leeds. Subject yourself to his bad tweets by following him on Twitter @YesItsAlistair.