AMC, The Ink Factory and BBC ONE announced today that Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water, Nocturnal Animals) will join BAFTA Award-nominated Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth) and Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies, True Blood) in The Little Drummer Girl. This six-part miniseries, based on the best-selling novel of the same name by John le Carré and directed by Park Chan-wook (Old Boy, The Handmaiden, Stoker) in his television debut, is scheduled for production this year.
The Little Drummer Girl tells the story of a brilliant young actress named Charlie (Pugh), who strikes up an acquaintance with an intriguing stranger while on holiday in Greece, but it rapidly becomes apparent that his intentions are far from romantic. The man is Becker (Skarsgård), an Israeli intelligence officer, who entangles her in a complex and high stakes plot orchestrated by Israeli Spymaster Kurtz (Shannon). Set in the late 1970s, yet sharply contemporary, The Little Drummer Girl weaves a dynamic and exciting story of espionage and international intrigue, of love and betrayal.
“The first time I saw Michael was as one of the genius actors who delivered wonderful performances in Revolutionary Road, and ever since I’ve remained his loyal fan,” Park Chan-wook said in a statement. “I believe Michael will make the perfect Kurtz, a man scarred by history and carrying burdens all too heavy on his shoulders, an Israeli ‘Captain Ahab’ obsessed by his biggest and most elusive nemesis yet.”
Added Simon and Stephen Cornwell, co-CEOs and Founders of The Ink Factory: “Michael is an actor of the highest caliber, and we are excited to welcome him to the stellar group of talent this project is amassing. Under the direction of a consummate auteur and opposite two equally dynamic actors – we are confident that he will channel the complex combination of tension and gravitas within Kurtz which is shot through the narrative.”
Shannon received Academy Award nominations for his roles in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals and Sam Mendes’ Revolutionary Road. He can currently be seen in Academy Award-nominated Shape of Water from Guillermo del Toro and Nicolai Fuglsig’s 12 Strong. His upcoming projects include Paramount Television’s Waco, HBO’s Fahrenheit 451 as well as Elizabeth Chomko’s What They Had.
This new co-production follows AMC, the Ink Factory and BBC ONE’s collaboration on the BAFTA, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning series The Night Manager, starring Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman.
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