Marvel fans know exactly when they can find Tom Hiddleston returning to the role of Loki. But before any of that, the British actor will be getting his biggest television role to date, as he’s staring opposite the similarly British Hugh Laurie (House) in the espionage thriller miniseries The Night Manager, which AMC has picked up. One can only hope Stephen Fry will play a college professor in there somewhere.
The Night Manager, an adaptation of the 1993 John le Carré novel, was at the center of a network bidding war, and AMC paid big bucks for it and immediately granted it a straight-to-series order. Though it’s not official yet, THR’s sources say the network is aiming to tell the novel’s story in either six or eight parts.
Hiddleston will play Jonathan Pine, a former British soldier currently working as a night auditor in a luxurious hotel. He meets a woman named Sophie who provides him with highly incriminating evidence about the crimes of Richard Onslow Roper (Laurie), a gun runner on the black market. The information gets passed on to higher authorities and Sophie’s life is put on the line. Pine then goes on an undercover sting to try and take Roper down. Seriously, a big poster that says “Tom Hiddleston vs. Hugh Laurie” would sell this miniseries arguably as well as anything else AMC will use.
The Night Manager will be written by David Farr, best known for episodes of the U.K. drama Mi5 and for co-writing Joe Wright’s Hanna. It should surprise no one that the BBC is partnered up with AMC in producing this project (along with Ink Factory), and they’ll be airing it across the pond.
This marks a return to form for AMC, who recently threw away the bulk of its reality TV programming in order to focus more on scripted series, like the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul, the martial arts drama Badlands and the sci-fi series Humans. Their foot in the scripted door was the Emmy-winning 2006 miniseries Broken Trail with Robert Duvall, and there’s nothing to say they couldn’t easily recapture that kind of acclaim with these two actors taking the lead.
Tom Hiddleston is currently filming the Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light, and he’s got Guillermo Del Toro’s gothic horror Crimson Peak and Ben Wheatley’s sci-fi thriller High-Rise both coming next year. TV vet Hugh Laurie will next be seen in Brad Bird’s imagination-expanding Tomorrowland.
There’s no telling when production on The Night Manager will start, but we’re hoping it’s soon, so that it can hit in time for a Spring/Summer 2015 premiere. Gotta have time to qualify for the Emmys, right?