Oct 18, 2012

Tradecraft: Brenden Fraser is Legendary

Deadline reports that Brenden Fraser (The Quiet American) has been cast as the lead in Howard Gordon's long-in-development TNT spy pilot Legends, based on the book by Robert Littell. According to the trade blog, Legends "follows Martin Odum (Fraser), a deep-cover operative who has an uncanny ability to transform himself into a different person for each job." Hm. I don't instantly see Fraser as a Peter Sellers- or Lon Chaney-like man of 1000 faces who can transform himself that effortlessly either physically or mentally, but on the other hand, I do think that Fraser is at his best when he's doing drama as opposed to fluffy kids' comedy. He's terrific, for instance, playing an idealistic CIA agent opposite Michael Caine in Phillip Noyce's Graham Greene adaptation The Quiet American, and in the James Whale biopic Gods and Monsters. Not so terrific in movies with cartoon animals. I haven't read the book (though I finally bought it recently with that intent!), but I don't think there are any talking critters in Legends, so hopefully this will prove to be a good fit after all! With a track record including Homeland and 24, I'm on board for any Howard Gordon spy show. (And there's another one in development this season at Fox.) He's producing Legends alongside Jeffrey Nachmanoff (Traitor) and Mark Bomback. As previously reported, David Semel will direct the pilot. TNT has a good track record with Littell material, having scored a hit with a miniseries based on the author's Agency epic The Company.

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