Remember when we collectively fell in love with The Night Manager? Well now the production company behind that John le Carré drama is coming back with another adaptation from the spy novelist – and it looks set to be one of the big TV events of the year.
Florence Pugh, Michael Shannon, Alexander Skarsgård and Charles Dance are lined up to star in a seventies tale of international plots and espionage.
The Little Drummer Girl went into production in February 2018, with filming in Greece wrapping at the beginning of June.
The air date has not yet been confirmed, but it’s set to broadcast on BBC1 later in 2018.
As with The Night Manager, this is a co-production between the BBC, broadcaster AMC, and independent production company The Ink Factory.
The Ink Factory producers Simon and Stephen Cornwell – who are also the author’s sons – said in a statement that The Little Drummer Girl is “one of le Carré’s greatest novels.”
Who will star in The Little Drummer Girl?
The six-part series will star Florence Pugh as Charlie, a young actress who is sucked into a story of espionage amid rising tensions in the Middle East. We’ve recently seen her in Lady Macbeth, and as Cordelia to Anthony Hopkins’ King Lear in the TV movie.
True Blood and Tarzan’s Alexander Skarsgård is set to play Becker, Charlie’s holiday fling – who is revealed as an Israeli intelligence officer.
Oscar-nominated actor Michael Shannon, known for The Shape of Water and Man of Steel, is also in the cast. He’ll play Israeli spymaster Kurz.
Game of Thrones’ Tywin Lannister actor Charles Dance has joined the series in the role of Picton, alongside Michael Moshonov as Litvak, Charif Ghattas as Khalil, Amir Khoury as Michel, Katharina Schüttler as Helga, and Simona Brown as Rachel. Max Irons will star as Al.
South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook will direct the adaptation of the 1983 novel. He said in a statement: “At the core of this story is an extremely painful, but thrilling, romance… I am excited at the prospect of seeing how the drumbeats of Florence Pugh, the most energetic young female actor I have seen recently, will resonate with the audience.”
What is The Little Drummer Girl about?
John le Carré published The Little Drummer Girl in 1983, a decade before his Cold War spy novel The Night Manager, which was adapted by production company The Ink Factory for BBC1 in 2016 in a miniseries starring Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman.
The Little Drummer Girl is a classic le Carré tale of an everyday person being sucked into the shadowy world of espionage, as an actress (Pugh) discovers her holiday romance (Skarsgård) is actually an Israeli intelligence officer and his “intentions are far from romantic”.
While The Night Manager was brought into the 21st century for its TV adaptation, the team behind The Little Drummer Girl has opted to keep this story in its original period: the late 70s.
Nevertheless described by the BBC as “sharply contemporary”, the six-part series will “weave a dynamic and exciting story of espionage and international intrigue”.
Le Carré himself will serve as an executive producer.
Is this a Night Manager sequel?
No, though it’s from the same production company. A second series of The Night Manager is currently in development as a separate project.
This isn’t the first time that The Little Drummer Girl has been on screen, of course. A little-loved film version was released in 1984 – the year after the novel was published – with Diane Keaton as Charlie.
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