BBC adapting ‘The Spy Who Came In From The Cold’ for Television

Following their success with The Night Manager – which recently won three Golden Globe awards and was nominated for a fourth – the BBC are going to be bringing another John le Carré novel for the screen.

Simon Beaufoy, Oscar award winning writer of Slumdog Millionaire, will be adapting le Carré’s famous novel, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. Beaufoy said that “It’s incredibly exciting to be working on the best Cold War spy story ever written”.

Set in 1962 at the height of the cold war, the story is set in the wake of the building of the Berlin Wall – leaving a British intelligence network in East Germany in tatters. The novel follows Alec Leamas, an intelligence officer dealing with the fallout of the event that left his contacts either on the run or dead; he’s soon offered a chance at taking revenge on the East German counter intelligence officer, Hans-Dieter Mundt.

John le Carré has stated that he is “very excited by the project, and have great confidence in the team”, and is particularly looking forward to seeing this story on screen again; The Spy Who Came In From The Cold was previously adapted as a movie in 1965, which starred Richard Burton as Leamas.

Much like The Night Manager, the show will be a co-production with the American network AMC; similarly, it will be produced by The Ink Factory, the group behind The Night Manager. Controller of BBC Drama Piers Wenger commented “Following the huge global success of The Night Manager, it’s a privilege to announce that John le Carré will return to BBC One with one of the best spy thrillers ever written”.


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