First Look At Gary Oldman As George Smiley In 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'

by Oliver Lyttelton
November 5, 2010 1:04 AM
11 Comments
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Film May Be First Of A Trilogy


It's no secret at this point that we're absurdly excited about the forthcoming adaptation of John Le Carre's classic spy thriller "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." With "Let The Right One In" director Tomas Alfredson making his English language debut, and a phenomenal cast made up of Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciaran Hinds, Mark Strong, Svetlana Khodchenko, Toby Jones, John Hurt, Stephen Graham and Kathy Burke.

The film will hit theaters next fall, but Baz Bamigboye has the first look as Oldman in character as spy-catcher George Smiley, previously played to iconic effect by Alec Guinness in a BBC TV adaptation in the 1970s, and it's safe to say that the actor more than looks the part. Not only that, but Oldman appears to be attacking the role with a real relish, telling Bamigboye that "It's proper work, and I haven't done that for a long time. I've played some amazing roles and I've had a good run, but this is something else. And it's like coming home. I can't remember the last time I played an Englishman."

Oldman appears to be partly basing his performance on Le Carre (whose real name is David Cornwell), saying that he observed "The way he touched his shirt, spoke and so on. I took all that and used it. I hope he won't mind, but Smiley is in his DNA."

The book is the first of a trilogy, known as the 'Karla Trilogy,' after the Russian spy-master who becomes Smiley's nemesis, concluded by "The Honourable Schoolboy" and "Smiley's People." While there are rights complications that may get in the way, producer and Working Title head honcho Tim Bevan told Bamigboye that it's hoped that the trilogy could be completed on film: "If Tinker works, what you want to see is Smiley going after Karla."

Barring some unforeseen disaster, this is one of the most promising films of next year, and if it comes off, we'd be more than delighted to see the remaining books adapted. No release date is yet set for the film, but we imagine it'll hit theaters some time next year, with a festival debut in London, Venice or Toronto more than likely.

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11 Comments

  • Liz ventevogel | November 7, 2010 8:37 AMReply

    I can't wait to see this film - Gary Oldman - perfect casting - because there are so many TTSS tragics out there - they had better get this right.. :)

  • Mike | November 7, 2010 3:49 AMReply

    Colin Firth is Haydon, Toby Jones is Alleline and David Denick is Esterhase.

  • pauline | November 6, 2010 11:10 AMReply

    With a pleasant shock my mouth hung open--Gary Oldman..George Smiley?? Then I closed it and shrugged. Who Else? Rarely do I anticipate the coming of any film but just made note to swing this and spread the word. Bravo to 'proper work' for this ridiculously talented man!

  • Hover | November 5, 2010 11:34 AMReply

    I can't wait to see this, refreshing to see Oldman in the lead. He is amazing.
    The film will be released in September, 2011.

  • max | November 5, 2010 10:21 AMReply

    so happy for gary. love his so much! good movie or bad, gary is always awesome.

  • kathleen | November 5, 2010 8:37 AMReply

    i'm so happy for him in lead role again and i cann't wait see it! and be nice see him get nominated for oscar he so awesome in his role ...

  • Colin | November 5, 2010 8:34 AMReply

    Oldman looks like Michael Redgrave (Barnes Wallis) in the Dambusters.

  • Mechanical Shark | November 5, 2010 6:30 AMReply

    Please, I'd really like to know which among the cast are playing the three suspects? That's the most important. Which of the cast plays Esterhase, Haydon, or Alleline?

  • brett | November 5, 2010 6:01 AMReply

    I want Gary Oldman to finally, in the least, get nominated for an Oscar. He is a genius in even the worst films.

  • BradZuhl | November 5, 2010 2:31 AMReply

    Gary Oldman is always exceptional. I can't wait to see him in a lead role again.

  • helen | November 5, 2010 2:22 AMReply

    I am very excited to see this film. It has an amazing cast and in particular I cant wait to see Benedict Cumberbatch in this film

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