Friday, 25 June 2010
Pre-production is continuing on a new feature film version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Many people thought that Simon Russell Beale was likely to get the role of George Smiley, having received plaudits for his recent radio portrayal of the character. Smiley is, however, going to be played by Gary Oldman. I wonder how close he will come to John Le Carre's Smiley - or indeed to the magnificence of the Alec Guinness portrayal.
Other actors currently listed, but not who they will be playing, are David Thewlis, Colin Firth and Michael Fassbender. Will Thewlis perhaps be Bill Haydon and Colin Firth Toby Esterhase? We'll have to wait and see - or perhaps not. I've yet to come across a remake that has come close to the quality of the original - The Lady Killers, Edge of Darkness, The Wicker Man are but a few examples. In fairness, I've not seen any of these 'remakes' nor do I have any desire to do so - a stance vindicated by any reviews or comments I've seen.
I'm still extremely content to revisit the originals from time to time. And for me, Alec Guinness will always be George Smiley, Ian - Bill Haydon, Ian Bannen - Jim Prideaux, Terence Rigby - Roy Bland and Bernard Hepton - Toby Esterhase.