Some very good news for fans of John Le Carré or just smart spy films in general that don’t end with the hero booby trapping his house in an overly elaborate and kind of stupid plan to capture an international criminal: two books by the master of the genre are on their way to the big screen, and one of them is a sequel we thought might have been left for dead.
But first, the steadily developing “Our Kind Of Traitor,” which has “The Snowtown Murders” director Justin Kurzel at the helm, has nabbed excellent actors Mads Mikkelsen and Ralph Fiennes are in advanced negotiations to join the recently cast Ewan McGregor in the picture. The pair were first rumored last fall (along with Jessica Chastain, but it doesn’t look like she’ll follow), and will come on board the story penned by Hossein Amini (“Drive,” “Snow White and the Huntsman“) that follows an English couple (McGregor playing one half) who get mixed up with a Russian money-laundering oligarch (Mikkelsen). They get caught up in his plans to defect and are soon positioned between the Russian Mafia and the British Secret Service, neither of whom they can trust. Fiennes will play Hector Meredith, a UK government fixer. So yeah, with this cast and director? Sign us up.
Meanwhile, we’d been wondering about “Smiley’s People,” the proposed sequel to “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” since we haven’t heard anything about it in over a year. But it seems it’s very much in development, with StudioCanal honchos confirming it’s moving forward with the ‘Tinker’ team set to return. “We are working on ‘Smiley’s People’ with Working Title. It’s still at the development stage – but, yes, the old team of Peter Straughan and Tomas Alfredson is back together. The same ‘Tinker Tailor’ actors whose characters would reappear are well aware of what we’re doing. We’re hopeful for a 2014 shoot,” Olivier Courson and Ron Halpern. Um, awesome.
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As for how they will approach the material, Straughan told us that they may incorporate elements of another Le Carré work. “The second book in the trilogy is ‘The Honourable Schoolboy‘ but it’s set entirely in Hong Kong, and George Smiley’s not a major character in it [the plot instead focuses on Jerry Westerby, the character played by ‘Boardwalk Empire‘ star Stephen Graham in Alfredson’s film], but it might be possible to take some material from that and combine it into ‘Smiley’s People’ in the sequel,” he said. And we’re guessing they’re still looking at how to put it all together.
But it appears that we’ll be getting back-to-back Le Carré flicks, which is certainly something to be very excited about. “Our Kind Of Traitor” will shoot this summer in Moscow, Marrakech, Paris, London and Switzerland, and we presume there’s more casting to come. [Screen Daily]