EXCLUSIVE: Sony has found its Alex Rider – Mrs Wilson star Otto Farrant has been chosen to front the small-screen reboot of the teen superspy.
Farrant, who played Nigel Wilson in the Ruth Wilson-fronted PBS Masterpiece and BBC drama, will play the eponymous character in the series, which is being produced by Sony Pictures Television and British indie Eleventh Hour Films, which optioned the screen rights to Anthony Horowitz’s novels in 2017.
The move comes after the producers opened a wide search for a young actor to play Alex Rider, a reluctant teen superspy who goes on missions to save the world.
Farrant has also previously had small roles in ITV and Netflix drama Marcella, War & Peace, The White Queen and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
Eight-part series Alex Rider is fully financed and in production after Sony Pictures Television’s International Production and Worldwide Distribution divisions teamed up for the first time to greenlight the series.
The novels, written by Foyle’s War creator Horowitz, chart the adventures of a reluctant teen superspy on his missions to save the world. The latest book in the Alex Rider series, Secret Weapon, was published earlier this month; the books have sold over 19 million copies and are particularly popular among young adult male readers. Alex Rider was previously adapted as a feature film in 2006 with The Weinstein Company.
The television adaptation does not currently have a broadcaster attached. The series is written by The Borgias and The Hole writer Guy Burt and will begin with Point Blanc, the second book in the series. EHF’s Eve Gutierrez and Jill Green will executive produce the TV series alongside Horowitz and Burt. Das Boot and The Dark Valley director Andreas Prochaska is directing.
Farrant said, “I couldn’t be more excited to play such an iconic character as Alex Rider. I loved the books growing up and it is an honour to be able to step into his shoes and give the fans the fresh and thrilling adaptation the series deserves.”
Prochaska said, “We met a lot of people for the role of Alex Rider, but when Otto entered the room, there was something magical about him. He has the perfect combination of youth and skilfulness, innocence and professionalism, to bring this iconic character to the screen.”
Farrant is repped by Sophie Patterson at Curtis Brown.
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