AMC has gone from a network that I was incredibly dismissive of to one that is really earning my respect with the way that they’re doing business. Better Call Saul sounds better and better the more I hear about it, Preacher and even the Walking Dead sister series sound like they could be really cool, and AMC just mercifully pulled the plug on a lot of their un-scripted programming. Now, the basic cable channel has reportedly swooped in and scored a splashy limited series with a pair of impressive leads.
AMC has landed The Night Manager.
Following a multiple-network bidding war, AMC has handed out a straight-to-series pickup for the John le Carre limited series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. AMC declined comment, but sources say the cabler is looking at the project as a six- or eight-part miniseries.
The drama starring Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston is being developed in partnership with the BBC, which will air the series in the U.K. Ink Factory (A Most Wanted Man) is also producing. David Farr (Hanna, Spooks) will pen the adaptation. AMC will also have partial ownership and will co-produce the series with Ink Factory and BBC One.
Though the two events aren’t necessarily connected, it’s interesting that AMC recently acquired a 49% stake in BBC America and now they’re about to launch into a co-production with the BBC.
The Night Manager synopsis also sounds interesting. You should read it, I’ll wait.
Published in 1993, le Carre’s Night Manager follows Jonathan Pine, a British soldier turned luxurious hotel night auditor. Pine crosses paths with a French-Arab woman named Sophie with ties to Richard Onslow Roper, an English black marketeer who specializes in weapons. The woman provides Pine with incriminating documents, which he forwards to a friend in British intelligence. After Sophie winds up dead, Pine works with intelligence operatives and goes undercover as part of a sting against Roper to avenge Sophie’s death.
Obviously, at this point, it’s impossible to know what tweaks to the source material may occur when David Farr adapts it. We also don’t know which role will go to Hiddleston and which will go to Laurie, but I think it’s fair to assume that the former will wind up playing Pine while Laurie takes on the role of the black marketeer. I’m very curious to see who gets to play Sophie. That sounds like a really meaty role.
I’m a little surprised that Hiddleston has the time to get involved in a TV series, even one with a less hefty time commitment. In addition to his continuing role as Loki in the Marvel movie universe and as a key cog in Jaguar’s advertising campaign, Hiddleston is also reportedly set to star in the King Kong prequel Skull Island and he’s playing Hank Williams in a bio-pic.
As for Laurie, the last time I heard anything about him and a return to television it was when he was rumored to be on-board NBC’s blackbeard pirate show, but John Malkovich went ahead and stepped on that mine for him. Which was an awfully nice of him to do.
The pairing of Hiddleston and Laurie alone makes The Night Manager one of the most anticipated TV projects on the horizon and it’s virtually assured that the series will make critics half-drown in a pool of their own drool. With that said, it’s mildly depressing that movie fans have approximately 496 comic book movies on the way and TV addicts have a British tale of intrigue and luxury hotels to get their hearts pumping; but that’s the way the world works, Dolores.