The Shape of Water star Michael Shannon is joining The Little Drummer Girl, the John le Carré adaptation from The Night Manager team of The Ink FactoryBBC One and AMC. He will play Israeli spymaster Kurtz, who entangles a young woman (Florence Pugh) in a complex and high-stakes plot with his Israeli intelligence officer colleague (Alexander Skarsgård).

Production on the six-part espionage thriller directed by Park Chan-wook begins early next year, with global sales handled by Endeavor Content/IMG. Fresh from the Guillermo del Toro monster love story, Shannon also is starring in Waco, the Taylor Kitsch-fronted miniseries that launched this week on the Paramount Network.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Little Drummer Girl will be financed and produced by the Ink Factory in partnership with 127 Wall and co-producers the BBC and AMC. Laura Hastings-Smith is producer with the Ink Factory’s Simon and Stephen Cornwell serving as exec producers alongside le Carré, Mona Qureshi for the BBC, Joe Tsai and Arthur Wang for 127 Wall, and Wonjo Jeong.

The show is written by Mike Lesslie (Macbeth) and Claire Wilson (Partners in Crime), after Apple Tree Yard‘s Amanda Coe was originally involved. 

Simon and Stephen Cornwell, co-CEOs and Founders of the Ink Factory said: “Michael is an actor of the highest calibre, and we are excited to welcome him to the stellar group of talent this project is amassing. Under the direction of a consummate auteur and opposite two equally dynamic actors – we are confident that he will channel the complex combination of tension and gravitas within Kurtz which is shot through the narrative.”

Added helmer Park: “The first time I saw Michael was as one of the genius actors who delivered wonderful performances in Revolutionary Road, and ever since I’ve remained his loyal fan. I believe Michael will make the perfect Kurtz, a man scarred by history and carrying burdens all too heavy on his shoulders, an Israeli ‘Captain Ahab’ obsessed by his biggest and most elusive nemesis yet.”