Oct 15, 2013

Director, Cast Changes on Le Carre Adaptation Our Kind of Traitor

I was worried when director Justin Kurzel, previously attached to the film adaptation of John le Carré's 2010 thriller Our Kind of Traitor, committed to a new film of Macbeth earlier this year. What did that mean for Our Kind of Traitor? The Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye (via Dark Horizons) reports that the le Carré movie continues to move forward, but with a change at the helm. Producer Simon Cornwell (son of David Cornwell, aka John le Carré) told Bamigboye that Susanna White, who directed the BBC/HBO co-production Parade’s End starring Benedict Cumberbatch, has replaced Kurzel as director of Our Kind Of Traitor. The cast, which at one point was rumored to prospectively include Ewan McGregor (Haywire), Ralph Fiennes (Skyfall), Mads Mikkelson (Casino Royale) and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), seems to also be in flux. While Cornwell says that McGregor is still interested in playing Perry, a disillusioned academic who along with his lawyer girlfriend is drawn into a web of espionage involving MI6 and a Russian gangster, Mikkelson has had to back out of playing the gangster, Dima, due to scheduling issues. (Probably because he stars on the American TV show Hannibal.) That's too bad; he would have been good. But it's such a great, showy role that it's bound to attract an equally great actor! Cornwell also told Bamigboye that they intend to start shooting "in the first half of next year" (of course, we've heard that before) and that writer Hossein Amini (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) was currently revising his script with an eye to bulk up the role of Perry's girlfriend, Gail. "She won’t be Charlie’s Angels," he said, "but she’ll be stronger than in the book." Frankly, I'm surprised to hear the author's son speak so dismissively of the novel's Gail. I thought she was already one of the strongest and best female characters le Carré has ever written, and I really hope they don't change her role too much! Meanwhile, the next le Carre film we'll see in theaters will be Anton Corbijn's A Most Wanted Man, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Rachel McAdams, which Lionsgate will release in the U.S.

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