The new cinematic adaptation of John Le Carr's espionage thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, has been on our radar since the announcement of its terrific cast, under the direction of Let the Right One In helmer, Tomas Alfredson.
Now there's news that Universal has picked up domestic distribution rights for the film, just a day after one of its stars (Colin Firth) walked away with a golden statuette for Best Actor at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy has previously been adapted for both the radio and television mediums, and takes place in the midst of the Cold War. The story follows one George Smiley (Gary Oldman), a former intelligence expert who's brought out of forced retirement in order to track down a Soviet mole in the upper echelon of MI6, a.k.a. the Secret Intelligence Service.
Deadline says that Tinker was well-received when it screened earlier this month at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival and that Oldman's performance in particular was widely regarded as "a tour de force." That's not exactly shocking, since Oldman seems to be one of those powerhouse actors who always delivers (even when the film around him is shlock), and Alfredson is a filmmaker who knows how to capture a chilling atmosphere while creating slow-burn suspense.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy boasts an overall excellent cast, including Firth, Oldman, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, and Ciarán Hinds (Munich). Hinds' Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 costar Ralph Fiennes had to drop out of the film earlier on, likely in part so that he could instead focus his efforts on his directorial debut, a modernized adaptation of Shakespeare's Coriolanus.
This is one of those films that has Awards Season written all over it. Universal is clearly aware of that, and looks to release Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy in U.S. theaters in either November or December of this year. So while the studio heads will be hoping to reap some critical and financial accolades with this one, everyone else can spend their time eagerly anticipating the arrival of what looks to be a refined, more old-fashioned thrill ride with spies and government spooks.