Though Hollywood is still clinging strongly to Robert Ludlum and his Bourne franchise, it’s finally time for author John le Carré’s extensive library to get the same kind of attention. It’s happened little by little over the years, with excellent adaptations made from his novels The Constant Gardner and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and we’ll soon get to see Anton Corbijn’s take on A Most Wanted Man later this year. Nanny McPhee director Susanna White will soon begin production on her big-screen version of the 2010 novel Our Kind of Traitor, and she has rounded out her cast with talented thesps Damien Lewis and Jeremy Northam.
The film centers on lecturer Perry (Ewan McGregor) and his lawyer girlfriend Gail (Naomie Harris), an English couple whose Antigua vacation is upended by Russian criminal Dima Krasnov (Stellan Skarsgård), who identifies himself as the world’s greatest money launderer. Dima wants to use the couple as a conduit to British intelligence so that he can share information about a murderous mob boss called "The Prince." Perry passes on the information, and the story then turns into a country-hopping suspense-filled thriller.
While Northam’s character wasn’t specified by Variety, THR says Lewis will be playing Hector Meredith, a Secret Service agent who is tasked with handling this secretive mission to take The Prince down. He brings in an intelligence officer named Luke (Mark Gatiss) for assistance, and then things go a little haywire for everyone.
Thanks to his consistently tense performance on Showtime’s Homeland, and even HBO’s Band of Brothers to go back a bit, Lewis is an actor who is always engaging when he’s on screen, and I’ve no doubt he’ll add to what should already be palpable tension. If you’d like to see him in something a bit more subdued, find him as Lord Capulet in Carlo Carlei’s recent half-modern take on Romeo and Juliet, or as war veteran Charles Doughty-Wylie sharing letters with Nicole Kidman’s Gertrude Bell in Werner Herzog’s upcoming biopic Queen of the Desert. He’s also starring in the miniseries To Appomattox as Civil War General William Sherman, assuming that project ever goes into production. Check him out below on a recent appearance with Jimmy Fallon.
The stage hound Northam, meanwhile, was last seen on the small screen in the British drama White Heat. He’ll soon star as Charles II in the miniseries New Worlds.
Adapted by Drive and Ronin 47 scribe Hossein Amini, Our Kind of Traitor will begin filming this week in London for a possible release later this year.