Paramount TV and The Night Manager producers The Ink Factory are teaming to develop a limited series based on another John le Carré novel, the New York Times bestselling espionage tale The Spy Who Came in From The Cold. Oscar-winning scribe Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) is attached to write the adaptation.
This is the first TV series treatment for the book, that was the basis for the 1965 Paramount feature film starring Richard Burton. Le Carré, who served as a writer along with Paul Dehn on the 1965 film, will also executive produce. The Ink Factory will finance and produce in association with Paramount TV and Character 7. Paramount Worldwide Television Licensing & Distribution will handle worldwide distribution of the series outside of the UK.
Spending seven months at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold begins in the shadow of the newly erected Berlin Wall as Alec Leamas watches his last agent shot dead by East German sentries. For Leamas, a senior British intelligence officer in Berlin, the Cold War is over. As he faces the prospect of retirement or worse—a desk job—Control offers him a unique opportunity for revenge. Assuming the guise of an embittered and dissolute ex-agent, Leamas is set up to trap Mundt, the deputy director of the East German Intelligence Service, with himself as the bait. In the background is George Smiley, ready to make the game play out just as Control wants.
The Ink Factory’s Stephen Cornwell and Simon Cornwell will executive produce, with Character 7’s Stephen Garrett. They most recently collaborated on the acclaimed series The Night Manager, for the BBC and AMC. Starring Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager, also adapted from a John le Carré novel, earned 12 Emmy nominations last week, including Outstanding Limited Series, Lead Actor for Hiddleston and Supporting Actor and Actress for Laurie and Olivia Colman, and Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series for Susanne Bier.
“On the heels of The Night Manager, we look forward to developing a further le Carré novel for a global television audience,” said Simon Cornwell of The Ink Factory. “’The Spy Who Came in From the Cold’ is one of the greatest espionage stories ever told. Simon Beaufoy is one of the most brilliant screenwriters of our generation. We are thrilled to be embarking on this extraordinary creative journey in collaboration with them, as well as with Paramount Television and Character 7.”
“Adapting one of the best thrillers ever written is a rare privilege,” added Beaufoy.
“We are thrilled to join forces with The Ink Factory and Simon Beaufoy to bring John le Carré’s riveting novel to life,” said Amy Powell, President, Paramount TV. “The level of expertise, creativity and precision behind this series is unmatched and we are excited to be partners in this captivating take on the brilliant world le Carré has created.”
“Simon Beaufoy has been a friend and collaborator on projects both in film and television for more than 20 years, and the prospect of reuniting with him on an adaptation of the greatest spy novel ever written by the man who invented the genre could not be more thrilling,” said Character 7’s Garrett.
The Ink Factory is repped on The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John LaViolette at Bloom Hergott, and by Chris Rice and Theresa Kang at WME. Beaufoy is repped by Charlotte Knight at Knight Hall Agency and Susan B. Landau at Thompson Street Entertainment. Garrett is repped by Theresa Kang and Chris Rice at WME. Le Carré is with Jonny Geller and Nick Marston at Curtis Brown.