'Radical' £20m Le Carré adaptation to air on BBC

'Radical' £20m Le Carré adaptation to air on BBC

The BBC has produced a "radical" £20m six-part adaption of John Le Carré's spy thriller The Night Manager, starring Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman.

Penguin Modern Classics will publish the TV tie-in edition of The Night Manager, featuring Laurie and Hiddleston on the cover, on 18th February, with the first in the six-programme series due to air 9pm on 21st February on BBC One. 

The BBC partnered with AMC Network (the makers of "Breaking Bad") on the £20m-budget production, of which the BBC put up a third.

Spy novelist Le Carré, real name David Cornwell, is now 84-years-old. He also wrote Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Sceptre) that was adapted by the BBC in 1979, starring Alec Guinness as George Smiley. 

The new adaptation was described by Le Carré's son, Simon Cornwell, as "the most radical ever done", adding in conversation with the Guardian: "British television has stepped back up to the plate." 

Olivia Colman stars as “a 21st-century version of Smiley”. Hiddleston, meanwhile, is cast in the lead role of hero Jonathan Pine, a former soldier-turned-hotel manager. Meanwhile Laurie plays the part of arms dealer Richard Roper, despite, according to Digital Spy, originally trying to option the book 25 years ago with hopes of playing Hiddleston's part.

The book was originally published in 1993 by Hodder & Stoughton, soon after which is was optioned by Paramount Studios. However, film rights then reverted back to The Ink Factory, a company set up by Cornwell with his brother Stephen.

Helen Conford, publishing director for Penguin Press described the book, selected by Waterstones as a "Rediscovered Classic" for February, "a gripping read". She commented: "The Night Manager is about corruption, suave brutality and uncomfortable compromises inside the British state. It's a gripping read, and the adaptation is as superb and ambitious as the book. It is a reminder of the vitality le Carre brings to Britain's intellectual life."

Penguin is also publishing The Pigeon Tunnel, le Carré’s "extraordinary" memoir in 2016.