Keira Knightley plays the real-life Katharine Gun who leaked government info prior to the Iraq war

By Ale Russian
June 26, 2019 10:04 AM
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Keira Knightley is feeling the heat in PEOPLE’s exclusive trailer for Official Secrets.

The upcoming title from IFC Films follows the real-life case of Katharine Gun, an intelligence translator for the British government who leaked information about illegal activities committed by the United States prior to the 2003 Iraq war.

“I translated signals intelligence and I reported anything of interest to my client,” Knightley as Gun says in the trailer while under interrogation.

But don’t call her a spy.

“No, I work for the British people. I do not gather intelligence so that the government can lie to the British people,” Gun shoots back when asked if she worked for the British government.

Official Secrets
| Credit: Nick Wall

The trailer shows Gun receiving an email detailing the secret information and taking a copy, which she later mails to a journalist, played by Matt Smith. His paper publishes the details and the information causes a stir, with her employers at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), a British intelligence agency, promising to find the leaker.

The story gets complicated when Gun is implicated, and the government upends her life while prosecuting her. They even zero in on her husband Yasar, who is Muslim and assumed to be involved.

But Gun persists, and she has at least one person on her side — prominent British lawyer Ben Emmerson, played by Ralph Fiennes.

“You chose loyalty to your country over loyalty to your government, your marriage and yourself. I think that speaks rather highly of you,” Fiennes tells her in the trailer.

Official Secrets — also starring Matthew Goode and Game of Thrones alums Conleth Hill and Indira Varma — premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will be released by IFC Films on Aug. 30.