Thursday, August 18, 2011

Come Spy With Me

Gary Oldman is pictured above as George Smiley in the forthcoming big-screen adaptation of John le Carré's classic spy novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. The story revolves around espionage veteran Smiley as he coaxed out of retirement during the Cold War paranoia of the late 1960s to flush out a Soviet mole that has found his way into the upper echelons of MI6. The character of Smiley was previously played by Alec Guinness in a highly-regarded television adaptation in 1979. Oldman has spoken about Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy as his return to "proper, grown-up acting" after spending many years playing Sirius Black in the Harry Potter films and Commissioner Gordon in the Batman films. He may, however, find himself in another franchise with this latest project as advance reviews have been incandescent with praise and it is based on the first of trilogy of novels detailing Smiley's exploits, the others being The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People.

This new version of le Carré's tale also marks Kathy Burke's return to acting after almost ten years in retirement. Burke says that her decision was largely motivated by the opportunity to work with the Swedish director Tomas Alfredson whose 2008 vampire chiller Let the Right One In is one of the most celebrated horror movies of the last decade and a personal favourite of hers. She will play retired MI6 operative Connie Sachs whose encyclopedic knowledge of the Soviet regime is of great assistance to her old colleague as he sets about flushing out the mole. Real-life old friends Oldman and Burke are joined in the exceptionally starry cast by Mark Strong, Tom Hardy, Toby Jones, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Hurt, Roger Llloyd-Pack, Colin Firth and Ciarán Hinds.

Two weeks after Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy's release on the 16th of Septemeber, Ciarán Hinds carries on spying with the release of The Debt. Directed by Shakespeare in Love's John Madden, this espionage thriller is set at the same time as TTSS and tells the story three Mossad agents played by Jessica Chastain, Marton Csokas and Sam Worthington who undertake an incredibly dangerous yet ultimately successful mission to track down a Nazi war criminal in East Berlin. Thirty years later, the venerated trio, now played by Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson and Ciarán Hinds, must deal with shocking revelations about what really happened all those years ago......... The ubiquitous Hinds will also be seen in February in the ghostly The Woman in Black with Daniel Radcliffe, as mentioned recently on this blog. The intensely creepy trailer for the film was released yesterday and features a young girl with a disconcertingly American accent speaking the following tantalising lines -

During afternoon tea there's a shift in the air,
A bone-trembling chill that tells you she's there.
There are those that believe that the whole town is cursed
But the house in the marsh is by far the worst
What she wants is unknown but she always comes back,
The spectre of darkness, the woman in black.

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