The Night Manager series 2: Everything you need to know

Morgan Jeffery, Sam Ashurst
Photo credit: The Ink Factory / Des Willie - BBC

From Digital Spy

The legions of Tom Hiddleston fans campaigning for the actor to be the next James Bond were (almost) rewarded in early 2016, when The Night Manager began broadcasting on BBC One.

Essentially a long-form Bond flick spread across six episodes of television (based on a John le Carré book, as opposed to an Ian Fleming one), it followed Hiddleston's luxury-hotel night manager (and former British soldier) Jonathan Pine, as he's recruited as a spy and tasked with taking down a secret arms trade operating between Whitehall and Washington, DC.

Pine may have completed his mission, but if there's one thing James Bond taught us, it's that a spy's work is never done.

It garnered huge critical success, being nominated for 36 awards and winning 11, including Golden Globes and Emmys. Which probably helped its chances of returning for a second series.

There's one significant element holding it back, but we'll get to that in a moment. For now, here's all the very latest The Night Manager series 2 news and rumours.

The Night Manager series 2: Is it happening?

Photo credit: Mike Pont/Getty Images

In March of last year, director Susanne Bier confirmed that scripts for a second season were "slowly being developed".

This was the first official confirmation that series 2 was even being considered, and it was reason enough for The Night Manager maniacs to order a slap-up celebration meal via room service.

Bier told Broadcast: "We all very much want to do a season two, but the thing we absolutely do not want is to do something that does not live up to the level of season one. That would be a really bad idea."

However, Despite series one's massive ratings success / huge awards haul, the show has yet to be officially renewed for a second series.

The BBC and AMC, along with producers The Ink Factory, released a statement explaining the situation, saying they are in the "early stages" of development. "[We] are in the early stages of developing a potential second series of The Night Manager, but nothing is definite yet and we have nothing to announce," they said.

In March 2018, Elizabeth Debicki (Jed) confirmed to Radio Times that a sequel "might be in the works", while producer Simon Cornwell (who is also author John le Carré's son) has said that the show's creators "would love to do another series".

One possible – and fairly major – hold-up is the fact the source book was a one off, with no follow-ups.

Photo credit: AMC/The Ink Factory - BBC

[John le Carré makes a cameo in the first series of The Night Manager]

"There is no book and there's never been a le Carré story which has been extended beyond the confines of the novel," Cornwell said. "It would be interesting and exciting to try that."

Star Hugh Laurie has also acknowledged this issue: "In the 20 or so novels that Le Carré's written, I don't think there's ever been anything that's continued beyond a novel that he's written. So this would be new territory for him – and obviously he was immensely involved in [the first series] and gave it his blessing."

Still, there is hope. Laurie revealed that it was Le Carré who first suggested that there was potential for a sequel to the TV version of The Night Manager.

In November 2017, writer Matthew Orton was hired to develop scripts for a second series, with he and spy novelist Charles Cumming apparently forming half of a four-strong team of writers developing the new episodes.

In June 2018, Cumming told Event magazine: "Our job is to write a season that's going to be even better than the first one, but also stay faithful to the tone of the world that was created by le Carré and to the characters."

"We are all aware that the bar has been set very high in terms of audience expectations. The challenge facing us is to meet those expectations, hopefully even to surpass them."

The Night Manager series 2 release date: When's it coming, then?

Photo credit: BBC

Because of those script difficulties, predicting a firm release date for series two is almost impossible.

2018 looks very unlikely. We'd suggest a 2019 broadcast, but don't haul us up before a Parliamentary oversight committee if it turns out we're wrong.

Because the scripts aren't the only issue: The Night Manager's return depends on another key organisational challenge – the cast.

The Night Manager series 2 cast: Who's coming back?

Photo credit: BBC/The Ink Factory/Des Willie

"Some characters that the audience know and love will be returning, others will not," writer Charles Cumming has hinted.

While it hasn't been officially confirmed, it's heavily rumoured that Tom Hiddleston (along with his series one co-stars Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman) have already signed up for another series.

According to 'a BBC insider', the team are "just working on the story, and then it's down to availability" - with Colman, for example, now signed up to at least two seasons of Netflix'sThe Crown.

"It's like a Venn diagram to bring these three actors together to film another series," the unnamed source said. "We're working on a new story. We always knew something would happen after Richard Roper stepped into that van."

Photo credit: BBC/The Ink Factory/Des Willie

While we'd normally advise caution when it comes to unnamed 'sources', all this info does seem to check out. Let's just hope that Bier and her team are able to deliver those tricky scripts: get that right and hopefully the stars will be excited enough to find a gap in their schedules.

David Harewood – who played US agent Joel Steadman – told Digital Spy he isn't sure if the show will be back, but would love to be a part of it if it does. "I know there are rumours," said Harewood. "I only hope I'm available. I'd love to do it again."

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