Jun 25, 2012

Tradecraft: Hayley Atwell and Michelle Dockery Team Up For BBC Spy Miniseries

Captain America's Hayley Atwell (the best part of that lousy Prisoner remake, which she later disowned) and Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery (seen briefly in Hanna) are teaming up with Michael Gambon (Page Eight), Charlotte Rampling (The Avengers episode "The Superlative Seven") and Rufus Sewell (The Tourist) for a BBC spy thriller based on a novel by future James Bond author William Boyd (Any Human Heart). Wow! I like those elements. (For the record, I'd happily back either Atwell or Dockery as future Bond Girls.) Deadline reports that Boyd has penned the screenplay for Restless, based on his own novel of the same name. He also adapted his novel Any Human Heart in 2010; that miniseries also starred Atwell and featured Tobias Menzies as Ian Fleming. Boyd, who was announced earlier this year as the next James Bond continuation novelist, has written screenplays that ended up starring three different 007 actors: Mister Johnson, with Pierce Brosnan, A Good Man in Africa, with Sean Connery (as well as Diana Rigg!), and Sword of Honor, with Daniel Craig.

I haven't read Boyd's 2006 novel Restless, but it seems to be well-regarded. According to the trade blog, "Dockery plays a young woman in 1979 [in the book, it's '76] who learns that her mother (Rampling) has been living a double life and is really a former spy for the British Secret Service. In flashbacks to 1939 Paris, Atwell plays Rampling’s younger self who’s recruited into the service by and falls in love with Sewell’s spymaster. After a crucial mission collapses, she must go into hiding, but 30 years later wants to resurface and enlists her daughter to track down her former lover, now played by Gambon." Sounds good! The 3-hour drama is co-produced by BBC One, The Sundance Channel (where it will presumably air in the United States) and Endor Productions. Shooting is scheduled to take place this summer in South Africa and the United Kingdom.

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