Features Film

These S.H.I.E.L.D Villains Want You to… Trust No One

Bakshi’s back!


While the nefarious Hydra villain that fans grew to love (and hate) on ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. met his grisly demise at the hands of Jemma Simmons, the character’s portrayer, Simon Kassianides, is looking to grace our screens once more in his upcoming film, Trust No One.

While an actor in a film isn’t exactly newsworthy, the two tend to go hand-in-hand after all, what is noteworthy is the fact that Trust No One is a project whose fate is dependent entirely on how much people want to see it… and even moreso on how much people are willing to support it.

Currently one of 769 film projects looking to be funded through the crowd-funding site Kickstarter, Trust No One is seeking $65,000 to cover everything from lighting to post-production costs. While the figure may seem daunting considering there’s less than a month to raise the funds, there are numerous things that Trust No One has going for it that make it likely that the number will be met, if not exceeded.


Action-thrillers seem to be a staple in the entertainment industry, with people flocking theatres to see the fourth installment of their favorite franchise and tuning in each week to catch the latest episode of a beloved television series. It seems as though audiences can’t really get enough of the action/thriller genre, which is something that clearly works in the favor of Trust No One.

With the goal of matching the violence and adventure of the Bourne and Bond franchises, while adding a touch more realism and relatability, Trust No One seems to already be a film focused on immersing audiences in the action and providing a viewing experience that emphasizes the nitty gritty of such genre movies. Particularly important in the film’s Kickstarter video is the vocalized desire to create a film that serves as both an exciting piece of entertainment, as well as a thought-out drama, through the combination of brutal physicality and a carefully structured plot.

It’s one thing to waste money on an overpriced movie ticket, but another thing entirely to waste it on something that you helped bring to fruition. Kickstarter projects are always a gamble, particularly those that haven’t even truly begun filming yet, meaning that the loose taglines and general premises are pivotal when it comes to convincing potential supporters that something is worth funding. Trust No One’s synopsis is one that simultaneously provides enough information to get people interested, and enough intrigue to make them want to see more.

Seemingly ordinary ‘Ben’ and ‘Amber’ have highly sensitive and very much sought after information in their possession. Information that has had them running for their lives. We’re introduced to them right before an exchange that promises to provide them with a lot of money, but more importantly – their freedom.


TNO team

Arguably the most important aspect about a film is the people in front of, and behind, the camera. There’s nothing more terrible than spending money on a film whose actors are phoning it in, and whose post-production team puts in the minimal amount of effort in order to get the final product out the door. Perhaps it can be argued that seeing something created by those with little to no knowledge or experience is worse, however, neither of these look as though they’ll be an issue where this particular Kickstarter project is concerned.

The people involved with Trust No One, from the already revealed cast members to the mentioned crew, are all veterans in the industry who have the experience necessary to create a solid piece of entertainment. Director Kassianides is also set to play the central character, Ben, while his former S.H.I.E.L.D. costar Brett Dalton has been revealed as the face of the mysterious character Victor. The fact that only two members of the film’s cast have been revealed would normally serve as a deterrent for most people contemplating supporting a project, but where Trust No One is concerned, it’s actually a positive. Both actors have garnered a substantial following due to their respective portrayals of Sunil Bakshi and Grant Ward on S.H.I.E.L.D., and devoted fans of both the show and the faces of the show will likely be eager to lend a helping hand.

Having two big names already attached to star in the project would be enough to get support from me, add that to the fact that the crew is equally impressive is enough to get even more support. Oscar-winning cinematographer Daniel Katz is on board, along with stunt-choreographers James Hutchison & Mark Musashi. Adding to the S.H.I.E.L.D. reunion is costume designer Ann Foley, whose work was impressive enough to be showcased two years in a row at FIDM’s Annual Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design exhibitions.

Fact: I would donate a hefty amount to this project just to see Foley try and squeeze Dalton and Kassianides into the Mockingbird and Quake catsuits. Honestly. That should be an incentive. “X dollars gets you a hard copy photo of Brett Dalton and Simon Kassianides as Mockingbird and Quake. $5 more and a digital JPEG gets thrown in as well.”


Let’s be honest, while we all like to pretend that we support various crowd-funding projects out of the goodness of our hearts, the fact of the matter is, many people also do it in the hopes of getting a little something in return. Trust No One has a slew of incentives for potential backers and you can get some with a pledge as small as $5.

For me, what is especially appealing about the incentives for Trust No One is the fact that they’re all awesome and, more importantly, aren’t directed towards those born with a hefty trust fund, who are driving around in Ferraris with money to burn. It’s clear that a considerate amount of time was put into determining what rewards should be given for each donation level, something that I personally appreciate since it gives everyone the opportunity to get something cool whether they have $10 or $10,000 to contribute.

Oftentimes, crowd-funding projects with notable actors and crewmembers ask for an obscene amount of money when the rewards start getting better. And sure, some of the donation tiers for Trust No One are pretty steep, but you actually get your money’s worth. I’ve seen projects in the past asking for $5,000 dollars in exchange for a single signed poster. With Trust No One, $5,000 gets you a walk-on speaking role in the film, an Associate Producer credit, a mixtape from the film’s composer Rui da Silva, a thank you in the credits, a download of the film, a PDF of the screenplay, a download of Kassianides’ short film If I Can’t Have You, Twitter follows and thank you tweets, and all of the behind-the-scenes access to the film!

That signed poster priced for a ridiculous amount of money for that other project? You can get it for a $200 pledge on the Trust No One Kickstarter. Plus you get all of the other stuff (minus the walk-on role) mentioned above along with it. Signed props, scripts, personalized video recordings, and lunches with Dalton and Kassianides are also up for grabs depending on how much dough you have in your pocket.

If you’re a fan of action thrillers, and are interested in seeing some of your favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. villains come together in a new film, the Trust No One Kickstarter comes to an end on March 14th so be sure to head over there and make a pledge while you have the chance!

UPDATE 3/1/2016


Outlander fans will be excited to hear that Caitriona Balfe is set to play the female lead, “Amber,” in the film!

About the author

Silje Falck-Pedersen