While Hollywood is reeling over the fallout of the Sony hack attack that resulted in the studio cancelling the release of The Interview, and while New Regency has scrapped a Gore Verbinski project with a North Korea setting, there’s another drama playing out in Britain. Back in August, Channel 4 announced it was working on political thriller Opposite Number, a 10-part action series to be penned by Matt Charman, who has an untitled Cold War project being directed by Steven Spielberg. The story involves a British nuclear scientist who is taken prisoner in North Korea, triggering an international crisis which itself must be kept secret. When the British Prime Minister and the U.S. president realize their man could be forced to help North Korea finally weaponize its nuclear technology, they must work together to pull the world back from the brink.
Shortly after the developing series was announced, Pyongyang took aim at British broadcaster Channel 4 – and the UK government – saying the series “malignantly” slanders the DPRK and warning, “Reckless anti-DPRK hysteria would only bring disgrace and self-destruction.” We are still awaiting absolute confirmation from the U.S. Justice Department over North Korea’s involvement in the Sony attack, and so, it appears, is Channel 4. A spokesperson for the network said today, “Opposite Number is a project in the very early stages of development and not yet in production.” I hear a script will be delivered after New Year’s and that it is not a lampoon of the North Koreans. Rather, the series takes a harsher look at U.S. and UK foreign policy. We’ll keep an eye on developments.