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Tom Hiddleston & Hugh Laurie star in TV adaptation of John LeCarré’s The Night Manager

Thanks to my friend @IreneActon386—which sounds like shes some sort of android in a sci-fi story but in reality she’s my across the pond twitter friend—I’ve got a new tv series to add to this year’s guide to Movies Based on Books
Actually the updated adaptation of John le Carré’s The Night Manager isn’t a movie, it’s a six part television adaptation coming to your TV via AMC here in the US. The world is wising up it seems; when it comes to adaptations of rich, complex material, if you want to capture the real essence of the book, mini-series are the way to go. Plus, when you’re talking books, most of us readers want the books we love to go on forever. Hence, a 6 part mini-series made up of one hour episodes trumps a 2 hour movie anytime.

In this case Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston (Hiddles to his devotees) make it even more desirable. According to the LA Times, Hiddleston plays former British soldier Jonathan Pine who infiltrates “the inner circle of criminal mastermind Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie) and finds his own morality shaken in the process.” 

Hiddleston told the Times “What I found fascinating about Pine in the novel and the adaptation is there’s a tension between a very calm exterior and a turbulent and chaotic interior. He has a lot of vulnerability and a lot of doubt.”

As for Roper,  Laurie calls him “a psychotic.” He goes on to say “There’s a bit of a Colonel Kurtz aspect to him. He’s surrounded by people whose livelihood depend on him. That will always drive a person a bit psychotic.” Laurie quickly added, “As any studio head will attest.”

Australia’s Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby), Tom Hollander (Mission Impossible/RogueNation) David Harewood (Supergirl) and the UK’s Olivia Coleman (Broadchurch) also star. Coleman’s role is especially interesting as she plays the intelligence operative who recruits Pine, a character originally written by le Carré as a man. 

Stephen Garrett, another of several producers, told USA today “When le Carré wrote the novel, (espionage) was a very male world. Burr was written as a man. We felt, for a modern audience and to reflect the world as it is, we needed a woman in a powerful position in the story. Le Carré embraced the idea.” 

Watch for LeCarre himself to take a cameo as he did in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (he’s a party guest at the office party) and A Most Wanted Man (sitting in a booth at a bar)

All six episodes of the series are directed by Susanne Bier (YAY Women!) and the series is produced by LeCarre’s sons Simon and Stephen Cornwell under their Ink Factor banner. 

The series marks its debut here in the US on April 19th on AMC at 10pm. 

The trailer has been released by the BBC in the UK, so perhaps if you’re in the UK, the trailer plays. For the rest of us, this is all we get!

UPDATE: I’ve got the US trailer coming in the next post.