John Le Carré’s Karla trilogy is an adored classic in spy fiction, and has already been partially adapted for the screen once, with Alec Guinness playing the suited hero George Smiley in the 1979 BBC series Tinker Tailor, Soldier, Spy. But now, with Let The Right One In director Thomas Alfredson in charge of getting a big screen version made, Gary Oldman is in negotiations for Smiley.
According to the Mail’s Baz Bamigboye (via The Playlist), Oldman, Colin Firth, Michael Fassbender and David Thewlis are all circling roles in what already sounds like a solid shot at a cinematic classic.
Spy follows the hunt for a mole within “the circus”, as former MI5/MI6 operative-turned author Le Carré (real name David John Moore Cornwell) dubbed MI6. Various intelligence bosses and other bureaucrats are suspected, including Smiley himself, who hides a razor sharp intelligence beneath a seemingly awkward manner.
Alfredson had been working on The Danish Girl with Nicole Kidman starring, but the Le Carré adaptation had been pencilled into his To Do list since last July and when the Kidman film collapsed, Alfredson began to focus on bringing Smiley to life.
Helping in that endeavour is The Queen writer Peter Morgan, who has been on somewhat of an espionage kick recently, between this and his duties penning the script for the next Bond film. Given the current cinematic-licence-revoked status that 007 is stuck with, it looks like Smiley might just beat him to the screen. And considering Smiley was Le Carré’s answer to Bond, we imagine he’d chuckle wryly at the thought.