May 6, 2013

Tradecraft: Page Eight Becomes a Trilogy... With a Killer Cast

We knew that Bill Nighy was keen to do a sequel to David Hare's superior 2011 TV spy thriller Page Eight, but we've heard very little on that front for a while now. I was about to give up hope when today news came (from Deadline) that there would be not one, but two sequels to form "The Worricker Trilogy." Nighy and Hare are both returning, the former reprising his role as MI5 officer Johnny Worricker and the latter once again writing and directing. As with the first film, which co-starred Michael Gambon, Rachel Weiscz, Judy Davis and Ralph Fiennes, Hare has lined up stellar casts for his follow-ups. According to the trade blog, Skyfall's Fiennes and Strike Back's Ewan Bremner will reprise their Page Eight roles in the second movie, Turks & Caicos, joined by Christopher Walken (A View to a Kill), Winona Ryder, Helena Bonham Carter (who has, amazingly, never made a spy movie before, I don't think), Dylan Baker (The Tailor of Panama), Zach Grenier (24) and James Naughton. Then Page Eight's Judy Davis, Kate Burdette and Saskia Reeves will return for the third film, Salting the Battlefield, as will Fiennes, Bremner and Bonham-Carter, joined by Casino Royale's Malcolm Sinclair.

Deadline also provides a few details on the plots of these sequels, but they contain mild spoilers for the first movie, so if you haven't seen Page Eight yet, go ahead and do so! If you have, then you'll remember that its conclusion found Worricker leaving both the service and the country, heading off to Turks & Caicos. But if he thinks he's out of the spy business, he's quickly proven wrong. In Turks & Caicos, he runs afoul of the CIA, who force him "to deal with a group of ambiguous Americans who are on the islands for a high-level conference." Meanwhile, "an old girlfriend is being asked to betray her boss in London in order to establish an illicit connection between the prime minister (Fiennes) and dark goings-on in the war on terror." The final entry, Salting The Battlefield, finds Worricker and that old girlfriend together on the run from MI5 "until Worricker returns home to confront the prime minister in a duel of wits." I'm so thrilled to learn we'll see more of Johnny Worricker! I love smart spy television of this nature, and the Brits do it better than anyone. I'm just a little disappointed that there's no mention of Rachel Weiscz reprising her role.

1 comment:

JN said...

So called to hear this. Have to say one of my all time favorite scenes anywhere in any movie is the conference meeting between Nighy, Gambon, Davis and Sakia Reeves.... Brilliant.