Strike Back
Daniel MacPherson (from left), Roxanne McKee, Warren Brown and Alin Sumarwata star in the new "Strike Back." (Liam Daniel/Cinemax)

‘Strike Back’ revival moves to Europe

Cinemax on April 26 released a first official photo for the new season of Strike Back and announced principal photography is underway.

The photo features four new cast members—Warren Brown, Daniel MacPherson, Roxanne McKee and Alin Sumarwata—in Amman, Jordan.

They play the core team working in a revived Section 20, a British counter-intelligence unit tasked with high-risk operations. Brown stars as Mac McAllister and MacPherson as Samuel Wyatt. McKee portrays Natalie Reynolds and Sumarwata is Gracie Novin.

Fans following the Twitter or Instagram feeds of the new cast members know they already finished filming in Jordan and have moved on to shoot in Hungary. MacPherson, who told me about his preparation for the role before production began, recently tweeted about traveling from Jordan to Hungary.

Brown tweeted a photo on April 5 as the first day of filming wrapped.

Cinemax also announced supporting cast members and their characters. Nina Sosanya stars as Adeena Donovan, while Katherine Kelly plays Jane Lowry. Trevor Eve portrays Morgan Ives.

The 10-episode new season—the fifth for Cinemax and sixth overall—revives the franchise that started in 2010 as a British production. Andrew Lincoln and Richard Armitage played the main characters that season.

In 2012, a refurbished series debuted on Cinemax with Philip Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton playing Section 20 operatives Stonebridge and Scott, respectively. They starred in the show for five seasons until Cinemax inexplicably canceled the show that launched its originals programming.

The new season, from Cinemax, Sky and Left Bank Pictures, will air on Cinemax in the U.S. and Sky in Britain at a later date.

“‘Strike Back’ has been critical to defining Cinemax as a destination for adrenalized, combat-based dramas with spectacular production values,” Cinemax president Kary Antholis said of the revived series. “This rebirth of the series will undoubtedly satisfy the show’s loyal fans, and our new ensemble cast promises to attract a new generation to the show.”

In the new season, the Section program is restored in order to track down a notorious terrorist following a brutal prison break. Tasked with covert military intelligence and high-risk operations, the resurrected unit embarks on a lethal manhunt that will uncover a vast web of interconnected criminal activity. As the team journeys across the Middle East and Europe, they discover the deadly conspiracy that threatens to overwhelm them all and change the face of modern warfare forever.

The production once again is using confidential consultants who work in the field of counterterrorism. Their expertise is a resource for story, terminology, procedure, accuracy, character development and regional issues, providing insight into the highly secretive world of so-called black ops.

These consultants also train the cast in battle tactics, weaponry and combat. Just as Winchester, Stapleton and their co-stars did, the new lead actors do the majority of their own stunts. 

Although they do have stunt doubles to perform the most dangerous stunts for them. Sumarwata posted a photo on Instagram and thanked her stunt double, Elica Rajeva, while filming in Jordan.

Michael J. Bassett, who returns as a director and executive producer, is well-known for putting the actors through their paces. 

“When they see that I’m directing they know what to expect,” Bassett once told me, referring to Winchester and Stapleton. Earlier this year in an email, he said he had the same kind of hellish plans for his new team. But he did give them props on Instagram for their hard work in preparing to be abused.

Bassett’s reputation aside, this Instagram post from McKee suggest she and fellow cast members were handling things in Jordan just fine, thank you very much.

I’m not sure who that is in the water, but apparently he doesn’t want his rear in the show. (Maybe this was before they started shooting?)

Squeal like a pig in the salty water… #DeadSea #Jordan

A post shared by Roxanne Mckee (@roxanne_mckee) on

Showrunner/writer Jack Lothian also returns for the new season and will serve as an executive producer. Andy Harries, an original series exec producer for Left Bank Pictures, is back in the same role. Cameron Roach serves as executive producer for Sky. Sharon Hughff joins Harries as an executive producer for Left Bank Pictures.

Pete Coogan joins as production executive and Bill Shephard is series producer. Nuala O’Leary and Lawrence Cochran also serve as producers.

Strike Back
Daniel MacPherson (from left), Roxanne McKee, Warren Brown and Alin Sumarwata star in the new “Strike Back.” (Liam Daniel/Cinemax)
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