Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big  Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Is 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' About To Become A Franchise? Announcement Allegedly Imminent

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com September 26, 2011 at 12:56PM

Gary Oldman Says Sequel Could Be A Composite Of 'The Honourable Schoolboy' And 'Smiley's People'It's hard to say that the spy genre doesn't love a franchise. The longest running franchise in cinema history is, of course, the James Bond series, Jason Bourne is Universal's biggest tentpole, and from Harry Palmer to Jack Ryan, if audiences show even a sniff on interest in a character, executives will happily bring them back for future installments, which is why we've had to suffer through things like "xXx2" and "Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London" over the years.
1

Gary Oldman Says Sequel Could Be A Composite Of 'The Honourable Schoolboy' And 'Smiley's People'



It's hard to say that the spy genre doesn't love a franchise. The longest running franchise in cinema history is, of course, the James Bond series, Jason Bourne is Universal's biggest tentpole, and from Harry Palmer to Jack Ryan, if audiences show even a sniff on interest in a character, executives will happily bring them back for future installments, which is why we've had to suffer through things like "xXx2" and "Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London" over the years.

As we discussed in our review from Venice, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" is an atypical spy movie; it's pretty much absent of gunshots and explosions, it's meditatively paced, and defiantly retro in both setting and style. But thankfully, it's also both terrific (looking to be on its way towards multiple Oscar nominations), and looking to be a hit; it opened at number one at the U.K. box office last week, taking an extremely impressive number for a film that's as close to an arthouse spy thriller as you could get. And the film's success looks to be opening the door for further installments.

The central character, George Smiley, the role taken on by Gary Oldman, has been a major character in five of author John Le Carré's novels, starting with 1961's "Call of the Dead" (filmed by Sidney Lumet as "The Deadly Affair," with James Mason as the re-named Smiley surrogate Charles Dobbs), as well as cameoing in three others, including the seminal "The Spy Came In From The Cold." As such, the potential has long been there for follow-ups should the film work out, and rumors are starting to circulate of an announcement sometime this week.

Jason Solomons of The Guardian hints that StudioCanal, who backed the film, are hoping to make a Smiley franchise with Oldman at the center, and are expecting to make an announcement of some kind in Paris this week. It seems likely that it'll see the conclusion of the "Karla Trilogy," the three books starting with 'Tinker, Tailor' that focus on Smiley's pursuit of his Soviet nemesis. The second part, "The Honourable Schoolboy," is mostly set in Hong Kong, focusing on ex-journalist Jerry Westerby (played by "Boardwalk Empire" star Stephen Graham in 'Tinker, Tailor'), while "Smiley's People" sees the hero brought back from retirement for one final stab at bringing down Karla.

However, there seem to be some potential hurdles: Oldman tells Solomons that, "I would insist on quite a few factors, such as I would really want Tomas Alfredson to direct it again." Furthermore, in contrast to the trilogy-happy approach of most studios, we may only end up seeing one sequel. Oldman told an Empire webchat last week that "I would think that they may put those two ('Schoolboy' & 'Smiley's People') together. I don't think they would make 'The Honourable Schoolboy' on its own. My guess would be that it would be a composite, an amalgamation of the two, and they would call it 'Smiley's People.'"

To be honest, this doesn't seem like the best approach, considering how plot-heavy these novels are, but we can probably see the logic. Smiley is a supporting character in "The Honourable Schoolboy," and StudioCanal may not be ready to let Graham carry a big movie like this on his own (although how great would that be?). Having said that, if Alfredson's film performs in the U.S. the way it's done in the U.K, we imagine that there'll be more than enough reasons to make two separate sequels. It sounds like we'll find out more later in the week. In the meantime, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" is out now in the U.K, and hits U.S. shores on December 9th.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Tomas Alfredson, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Stephen Graham, Gary Oldman


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates