Monday, 7 June 2010

A Word in your Tinker

As you all know, Working Title Films are a production house I admire and despise in equal amounts. For the entire wank BRIDGET JONES, WIMBLEDON, NOTTING HILLS and other inane Richard Curtis romantic confections they’ve manufactured; they’ve also produced fantastic films like UNITED 93, THIRTEEN, DEAD MAN WALKING and any number of Coen Bros. movies. I’ve even respect their versions of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and STATE OF PLAY. Now comes the news Working Title Films are making a film version of John Le Carre’s venerated spy novel TINKER TAILOR, SOLDIER SPY. The project is apparently so far ahead (and within WTF greenlighting budget) that that the superb Gary Oldman has been cast in the lead role and Colin Firth, David Thewlis and Michael Fassbender are in hot negations to play assorted twisty intelligence heads and potential mole suspects. What really got my eye is the creative talent WTF have tapped to helm and write the project which will be respectively handled by director Tomas Alfredson and scriptwriter Peter Morgan. Alfredson has come off minor masterpiece LET THE RIGHT ONE IN and Morgan’s canon of work speaks for itself. To compliment this package WTF has put together top-tier acting talent that will hopefully do this project justice. Reports claim the studio will keep the mid-1970s setting of the original story. The book is set during the height of the Cold War and revolves around British spy George Smiley- a middle aged and ordinary intelligence expert- lured out of retirement to hunt down a Soviet mole in ‘the Circus’; the highest department of MI6. The character of Smiley is different to your usual spy in that he’s not particularly affluent and has a wife who is cheating on him (no word on who will be playing her part but methinks it’ll be someone of high repute). Basically, he’s distinctly British and the antithesis of what we’ve come to expect from hardened spies.

You’ve got to give it to Working Title. It’s a smart move on their part. While MGM have to wait and see where they’ll get the money to make the next BOND picture and Universal Studios struggle to get the talent together to make another BOURNE movie, TINKER TAILOR, SOLDIER SPY promises to be the kind of movie that incorporates the thrills and sophistication to be gratifying and different to everything else around. It also seems very British without being uninteresting (rare thing for a UK film). The hope is TINKER TAILOR, SOLDIER SPY will be a grown-up spy thriller that will hit its commercial marks as well as its intelligence targets. Reports suggest shooting will get underway this September and will be released late next year, though most likely we’ll get to see it in 2012 when the UK will be on everyone’s conscience because of their ‘poor-man’s’ staging of the Olympic Games. Bring it on!

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