BBC One, The Ink Factory and AMC today announced a co-production partnership for the television adaptation of John le Carré’s novel “The Night Manager.” Hugh Laurie (“House”) and Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, War Horse, Midnight in Paris) will star in the mini-series, which is set to begin filming in spring 2015. Susanne Bier, who won an Academy Award for In a Better World, will direct.
A contemporary interpretation of le Carré’s espionage drama – and the first television adaptation of a le Carré novel in more than 20 years – “The Night Manager” mini-series will bring together love, loss and revenge in a complex story of modern criminality. The eagerly anticipated series follows former British soldier Jonathan Pine (Hiddleston) as he navigates the shadowy recesses of Whitehall and Washington where an unholy alliance operates between the intelligence community and the secret arms trade. To infiltrate the inner circle of lethal arms dealer Richard Onslow Roper (Laurie), Pine must himself become a criminal.
“‘The Night Manager’ is truly the whole package. It’s a terrific piece of source material, great producers in The Ink Factory, a phenomenal writer in David Farr, an award-winning director in Susanne Bier, and two incredibly talented actors,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s executive vice president of programming, production and digital content. “Beyond that, it represents AMC’s continuing commitment to finding creative ways to work with the international community to bring the best television to our network – an initiative we have ramped up very quickly that has already resulted in multiple high-quality projects for our air. We’re thrilled to be in business with the BBC and the fantastic ‘Night Manager’ team.”
Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, said: “It’s a fantastic coup to bring le Carré back to our screens after more than 20 years. He is quite simply one of the greatest novelists of our time, and I am sure that with AMC, Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie on board, this will be one of the BBC’s most unique, ambitious and unmissable dramas.”
Simon Cornwell of The Ink Factory said: “Working with AMC to deliver ‘The Night Manager’ to U.S. and Canadian audiences is a huge privilege. AMC has established itself as one of the great innovators in television in the 21st century, and alongside the BBC we believe they are the best possible partners to support this incredible project. In Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston we have the core of an extraordinary cast, in Susanne Bier a great director, and in David Farr, an exceptional writer who is bringing a brilliant contemporary take to one of le Carré’s finest novels. We couldn’t be more excited!”
Hugh Laurie said: “I loved ‘The Night Manager’ when it was published, and for more than 20 years have yearned to see it realized on screen; I am now thrilled and honored to have the frontest of front row seats. All the moving parts are finely machined – we just have to not mess it up.”
Tom Hiddleston said: “I could not be more excited to join BBC One, The Ink Factory and AMC for ‘The Night Manager.’ Jonathan Pine is a thrilling prospect. Described by John le Carré as a ‘sometime army wolfchild with a special unit’ in the British forces, ‘caterer, chef, itinerant hotelier, perpetual escapee from emotional entanglements, collector of other people’s languages, self-exiled creature of the night and sailor without a destination,’ Jonathan Pine is the most mysterious and complex kind of British hero. It’s an honor and a privilege to work with such truly impeccable collaborators as Hugh Laurie and Susanne Bier in bringing this to the screen. David Farr’s screenplay, adapted from le Carré’s brilliant novel, is absolutely outstanding. I’m beyond thrilled and I can’t wait.”
Susanne Bier said: “John le Carre’s ‘The Night Manager’ is a relentlessly exhilarating thriller with profound emotional depths. Its narrative is carried by two secretive, alluring protagonists, Roper and Pine. David Farr’s elegant script perfectly orchestrates the central cat-and-mouse game between these two irresistibly flawed characters. That Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston will be playing Roper and Pine, respectively, is so thrilling to me. Their shared soulfulness, precision and sharp humor will seduce us all, both through Roper’s charming yet insidious manipulations and Pine’s unsettlingly enigmatic struggle to do the right thing. It is a great honor to be directing ‘The Night Manager’ and to be part of the collaboration between AMC, BBC1, The Ink Factory and Stephen Garrett. I could not be more excited.”
Published in 1993, “The Night Manager” is one of le Carré’s most beloved and critically acclaimed books. A fusion of spy story and tale of organized crime, the novel was a best-seller in the United States and the UK, translated into over 20 languages and selling over a million copies in North America alone.
“The Night Manager” will be produced by The Ink Factory (“A Most Wanted Man”) for broadcast on BBC One and AMC in 2016. Executive producers are Stephen Cornwell and Simon Cornwell for The Ink Factory, Stephen Garrett, David Farr, and Polly Hill for the BBC. The series was commissioned for BBC One by Charlotte Moore and Ben Stephenson, and Joel Stillerman, Marci Wiseman and Kristin Jones for AMC. “The Night Manager” is adapted by David Farr (Hanna, “Spooks”) from John le Carré’s original novel. Rob Bullock (“The Suspicions of Mr Whicher,” “Chasing Shadows”) will produce for The Ink Factory.