The Night Manager
The TV series will be based around Le Carré’s ’93 spy thriller The Night Manager, which follows Jonathan Pine, a former British soldier who is now a hotel manager working the night shift, and a mysterious woman known only as Sophie. Sophie, who has ties to a British gun runner by the name of Richard Onslow Roper, manages to smuggle incriminating papers to Pine, but is afterwards found dead. Pine passes the papers on to a friend in British Intelligence and ends up working for them in an undercover operation as part of a sting against Roper.
The Night Manager itself is Le Carré’s first post-Cold War novel, focusing on taking down an international criminal. Unfortunately, corrupt forces within both the CIA and British Intelligence profit from illegal sales of arms, so Pine and his fellow undercover agents will face pressure from them to halt the operation, as well as pressure from a secret organization which seeks to stop Pine and his fellows in their tracks.
During his infiltration of Roper’s organisation, Pine finds himself in increasing danger as he is used as a ‘front man’ in Roper’s latest gun sale (involving trading guns for cocaine to be smuggled across Europe), begins to fall in love with Jed, Roper’s innocent consort, and is finally betrayed to Roper who holds him hostage and tortures him on his yacht.
As with many of Le Carré’s novels, the ending is ambigious, neither good nor bad. Burr – the main agent in charge of the operation – sacrifices his moment to detain and arrest Roper so he can rescue Pine, who ends up happily partnered with Jed, but Roper has managed to get away, and everyone involved with the operation has been discredited.
It has been tentatively suggested that Hiddleston will play Jonathan Pine and Laurie will play Richard Onslow Roper, but so far this has only been reported by one news outlet, so this remains speculation for now.
The idea behind this TV series is that it will be jointly produced by American and British TV channels working together, but while the BBC have said that they will produce The Night Manager, there is still no corresponding American channel in sight.
The producers of The Night Manager have certainly managed to bag some talent with their main actors – Laurie has shown his abilities most recently on the American small screen with his turn on House as the grumpy, painkiller-addicted doctor we all loved to hate, while British audiences will fondly remember his comedic turns in Blackadder and A Bit of Fry and Laurie. Tom Hiddleston brings his legions of fans from his turn as Loki in both Thor movies and Avengers Assemble and also the fans from before that star-making role in the form of people who know and love him from his smaller roles on TV such as William Buxton in Return to Cranford and Magnus Martinsson in the Wallander adaptations alongside Kenneth Branagh.
Let it be known that I wrote Pine so much in this post that I genuinely began to believe I was talking about Chris Pine.