Mar 10, 2012

Tradecraft: An Almost-Bond Takes TV Spy Role in New Fox Series

Nip/Tuck's Julian McMahon was supposedly one of the final candidates to replace Pierce Brosnan* as James Bond in 2006's Casino Royale. At the time, the Australian actor seemed the best-suited to me of the names we kept seeing mentioned. Since then, Daniel Craig has proved me wrong, and I can't imagine anyone but him playing the 2000s incarnation of 007. (But I'd still take McMahon over Sam Worthington or Henry Cavill any day!) Now, Deadline reports that McMahon is close to taking another spy role—on Fox's still-untitled teen spy drama scripted by Karyn Usher. (They really need to come up with a title for that one, because I'm sick of typing "untitled Karyn Usher spy pilot.") According to the trade blog, McMahon is "in final negotiations" to play the "mysterious rogue agent who serves as surrogate father and professional mentor in the spy world" to Jane Forsythe, the Hanna-esque teenage CIA orphan lead we learned earlier this week would be portrayed by relative newcomer Saxon Sharbino.

Meanwhile, Angela Bassett will reprise the tough intelligence boss role we've seen her in on Alias and in This Means War as "the calculating and political director of the CIA who takes Jane under her wing." Or, returning to Hanna terms, the Cate Blanchett part. No matter how much debt the final show turns out to owe or not owe to Hanna, La Femme Nikita or The Professional (and despite the involvement of director Brett Ratner, who's helming the pilot), I'm rooting for this one. I like the teen spy subgenre, and I'm curious to see how this Fox show turns out... especially considering the impressive way its cast is shaping up.

*Brosnan himself was once referred to in People Magazine as a "mighty might-have-been" with regards to the role.

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