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John le Carré’s The Little Drummer Girl Set for TV


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Following their success with The Night Manager, The Ink Factory, BBC One and AMC are adapting John le Carré’s best-selling literary work The Little Drummer Girl as a six-part miniseries.

Acclaimed filmmaker Park Chan-wook (Old Boy, The Handmaiden, Stoker) is marking his television debut as director for the miniseries. Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth) will star. The Little Drummer Girl is set to go into production in January 2018.

The series will be financed and produced by The Ink Factory in partnership with 127 Wall and co-producers the BBC and AMC. Set in the late 1970s, The Little Drummer Girl is a story of espionage and international intrigue, of love and betrayal. In this high-stakes drama, set against the background of rising tensions in the Middle East, a young, brilliant actress Charlie (Pugh) prepares for her ultimate role in ‘the theatre of the real.’

Chan-wook said: “Of le Carré’s many masterpieces, the one I love ahead of any other is The Little Drummer Girl. At the core of this story is an extremely painful, but thrilling, romance. This is what makes the story universal, reaching beyond borders and languages and remaining incredibly current. To adapt such a great work without losing its integrity, it needs the time and depth of a television series, and I am excited at the prospect of seeing how the drumbeats of Florence Pugh, the most energetic young female actor I have seen recently, will resonate with the audience.”

Simon and Stephen Cornwell, co-CEOs and founders of The Ink Factory said: “With The Little Drummer Girl we are embarking on an extraordinary journey. It is exhilarating to see one of le Carré’s greatest novels take shape for the screen in the hands of such a brilliantly talented team. Park Chan-wook is a master filmmaker at the height of his powers. His passion for the project and his vision are utterly compelling. Florence Pugh is an exciting actor whose Charlie will lead us on a heart-wrenching journey, and the team behind the camera assembled under Laura Hastings-Smith’s steadfast leadership is unparalleled. We could not be more excited to be working with our friends and partners at the BBC and at AMC to bring The Little Drummer Girl to audiences around the world.”

Piers Wenger, the controller of BBC Drama, said: “We are thrilled by the extraordinary array of talents which The Ink Factory are assembling to bring this iconic le Carré story to the screen. The combination of Director Park’s passion for this title and the huge screen presence of Florence Pugh will make for a real drama event when Little Drummer Girl premieres on BBC One.”

“After the tremendous reception by U.S. audiences to The Night Manager, we are thrilled to be working again with The Ink Factory and the BBC on another brilliantly-plotted and deeply emotional John le Carré thriller, The Little Drummer Girl,” said David Madden, the president of original programming for AMC, Sundance TV and AMC Studios. “Personally speaking, I read the book when it was published in the 1980s, and it’s frightening and thought-provoking to recognize how relevant the story still is today. Florence Pugh is a gifted actress who will make a stunning Charlie, and Park is a filmmaker of extraordinary vision whose entry into the world of le Carré-style espionage should be irresistible.”



About Kristin Brzoznowski

Kristin Brzoznowski is the executive editor of World Screen. She can be reached at kbrzoznowski@worldscreen.com.

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