Jan 8, 2016

Tradecraft: Ridley Scott Ponders Prisoner Remake

That feature film Prisoner remake we've been hearing about off and on for years is still in development at Universal, and now it's attracted one of the biggest directors in the world, Ridley Scott (Blade Runner). Coming off of a huge success with the awards favorite The Martian and about to film a new Alien movie, Scott is as hot now as he's ever been. His involvement would be enough to make this movie finally happen (for better or for worse). According to Deadline, the director is in early negotiations to direct the movie version of the classic, surreal 1968 Patrick McGoohan spy series, considered by many (myself included) to be among the greatest TV series of all time. William Monahan (The Departed) has penned the latest version of the script, which Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation) had previously worked on. Monahan and Scott collaborated on the Leonard DiCaprio/Russell Crowe spy movie Body of Lies in 2008, and Monahan is no stranger to adapting beloved British television cult classics to the big screen having written the feature version of Martin Campbell's Edge of Darkness. Scott got his start working on British television in the Sixties (including directing several episodes of the fabulous BBC spy series Adam Adamant Lives!) at the same time that McGoohan was starring in Danger Man and creating The Prisoner.

According to the trade, a number of A-list actors are eagerly circling the project upon Scott's involvement.

Christopher Nolan had at one time considered directing Universal's long in development Prisoner movie, but ultimately moved on. In 2009 AMC remade The Prisoner as a miniseries starring Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen, with highly disappointing results. Last year's Wayward Pines incorporated many elements of the original series rather more successfully. Personally, I'm not a kneejerk anti-remake reactionary, but I also can't bring myself to be more than cautiously optimistic. I think many of the themes of The Prisoner are even more relevant today than they were in 1968, and I think Ridley Scott is well equipped to handle the material, both intellectually and visually. I wish him the best; I really hope this movie turns out to be good!

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