Nov 27, 2010

Rachel Weisz, Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon Join David Hare Spy Movie

Possibly irked at being left out of the new film remake of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (which seems to star all of their peers), Bill Nighy and Michael Gambon have decided to make a high-brow spy movie of their own.  The Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye reports that acclaimed playwright David Hare ("The Hours") has decided to try his hand at penning a spy movie.  And he's recruited first-rate actors to star in it.  Besides the great Nighy and Gambon (who once auditioned for the role of James Bond back in the Seventies), Oscar nominees (and former co-stars in John Le Carré's The Constant Gardener) Rachel Weisz and Ralf Fiennes will star in Hare's Page 8, which the writer will also direct.  According to the tabloid, "Bill Nighy will play an MI5 ­operative who believes [Weisz's] character could represent a threat to him. Michael Gambon will play the director general of the Security Service. Judy Davis, the celebrated ­Australian actress who rarely works outside her homeland, will also be in the film in an as yet unspecified role."  What's not totally clear from the article is whether this will be a theatrical film or one made for UK television.  BBC Films is producing (along with NBC Universal and Harry Potter mogul David Heyman), but BBC Films doesn't always mean TV; they've had plenty of theatrical releases.  I get the impression this is one of those. There's no question that the fantastic cast is film-caliber!

Bamigboye reveals some other intriguing details about Hare.  Apparently, the playwright (who previously penned the early Eighties Judi Dench spy film Saigon: Year of the Cat) is a spy fan, and wrote Page 8 basically because he saw a gap in bigscreen espionage entertainment and wanted to enhance his his own "pleasurable cinema-going." (He must have written it last year when there was a noticeable dearth of such movies in the theaters, as there've been a load of them this year.  But you can never have too many!)  Specifically, Hare misses James Bond (and who doesn't?), but it sounds like his own movie will, unsurprisingly, occupy more Le Carré territory.  And it just so happens that Hare and Le Carré are neighbors!  According to Bamigboye, "Hare revealed that Le Carré offered to read the Page 8 script, telling Hare: ‘I promise to be withering.’ Hare added: ‘That put me in my place. I wouldn’t dare give the screenplay to Le Carré. I’d be absolutely terrified to show him what I’ve come up with.’" Well, I, for one, am very curious to see what he's come up with!

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