Well, this might just win the good news award of the day. Everybody’s fav Michael Shannon is set to join the cast of The Handmaiden and Oldboy director Park Chan-wook‘s television debut The Little Drummer Girl, based on the best-selling novel of the same name by John le Carré. Shannon will play Israeli spymaster Kurtz in the tangled tale of espionage and joins previously announced cast members Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth) and newly minted Golden Globe winner Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies). The project comes from the Ink Factory, BBC One and AMC that spawned the BAFTA, Emmy, and Golden Globe-winning le Carré series The Night Manager.
The Little Drummer Girl is a 1970s-set spy thriller that stars Pugh as a brilliant young actress Charlie, who strikes up a friendship with a handsome stranger while on holiday in Greece, but soon realizes that his intentions aren’t romantic, they’re professional. The man’s name is Becker (Skarsgård), and he’s an Israeli intelligence officer who entangles Charlie in a complex plot orchestrated by Shannon’s Spymaster.
Shannon is a performer who likes to keep busy. In addition to moonlighting as arguably the world’s best Iggy Pop cover artist, he’s currently doing double duty in theaters in Guillermo del Toro‘s Oscar-nominated The Shape of Water and Nicolai Fuglsig‘s military drama 12 Strong. Next up, he’ll appear in Paramount TV’s Waco, HBO’s Fahrenheit 451, and Elizabeth Chomko‘s Alzheimer’s drama What They Had.
Director Park said of Shannon’s casting in a press release, “The first time I saw Michael was as one of the genius actors who delivered wonderful performances in Revolutionary Road, and ever since I’ve remained his loyal fan. I believe Michael will make the perfect Kurtz, a man scarred by history and carrying burdens all too heavy on his shoulders, an Israeli ‘Captain Ahab’ obsessed by his biggest and most elusive nemesis yet.”
“Michael is an actor of the highest calibre, and we are excited to welcome him to the stellar group of talent this project is amassing,” said Simon and Stephen Cornwell, co-CEOs and Founders of The Ink Factory. “Under the direction of a consummate auteur and opposite two equally dynamic actors – we are confident that he will channel the complex combination of tension and gravitas within Kurtz which is shot through the narrative.”
The series will be financed and produced by The Ink Factory in partnership with 127 Wall and co-producers the BBC and AMC. The six-part miniseries adaptation is set for 2018.