I haven’t read many John Le Carre novels, but the prodigious writer has been pumping out spy thrillers for the last 50 years. His most renowned novels are probably The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, The Constant Gardener, and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. That last one is now bound for the big screen, and it’s got a list of talent that is frankly pretty goddamn stunning.
The novel, written in 1974, takes place during the cold war, is about George Smiley, a retired British Intelligence officer, who is un-retired to track down a Soviet mole in the midst of Britain’s MI6 intelligence service (specifically, “The Circus,” the highest echelon). The story was previously adapted into a 1979 BBC miniseries starring Sir Alec Guinness.
Several things are absolutely fabulous about this news. First, they’re not updating the story. It’s still going to take place in the ’70s, which is an excellent decision. It will remain British, and not somehow be made into an American film. It’s based on the screenplay by Peter Morgan, who has written some of the best screenplays in recent memory, including The Last King of Scotland, The Queen, and Frost/Nixon. The directing job goes to Swedish director Tomas Alfredson, most well-known for the original version of Let The Right One In. So we’re basically batting a million so far.
As for the cast, the only confirmed role is that of Smiley, who will be played by Gary Oldman. Oldman is one of many people’s favorite actors — he’s the ultimate chameleon, capable of playing almost anyone. Considering he’s been Jim Gordon, Drexel Spivey, Dracula and, hell, he played a dwarf once, Oldman’s pretty much perfect. Also in talks are Colin Firth, Michael Fassbender and David Thewlis. That’s a hell of a list, if you ask me.