Back in 1979, John Le Carre’s novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was made into a BBC television classic, but there were a lot of questions about whether or not the 2011 remake would hit the same intense chord that the original did, thanks largely to a brilliant performance from Sir Alec Guinness and an ensemble cast.
Announced on John Le Carre’s website, the film had a cinematic release date of the 16th September 2011. As with the previous production, the Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy 2011 remake had an impressive cast, with Gary Oldman taking up Sir Alec Guinness’ acting mantle as semi-retired veteran spy George Smiley.
The film also starred Colin Firth, Tom Hardy (Mad Max 4 Fury Road) and Benedict Cumberbatch, who was brilliant in last year’s Sherlock (another BBC masterpiece), alongside Martin Freeman (Nativity (2009)). Cumberbatch plays Peter Guillam, one of the main characters in John Le Carre’s series of books, with Hardy and Firth taking on the roles of fellow MI6 agents, Ricky Tarr and Bill Haydon.
John Hurt plays former British Intelligence boss and Smily’s fellow retiree, Control, with Stephen Graham as agent Jerry Westerby, Kathy Burke as the eccentric spy, Connie Sachs and Svetlana Kodchenkova (The Wolverine) as partially turned Soviet intelligence agent, Irina.
The plot follows George Smiley as he is drawn back into espionage to discover the identity of a turned British agent within the Circus that is the British Intelligence Service. With nothing quite as it seems and a tense international stand-off Smiley must use his keen eye and investigative glare to sort out the truth from within a group of professional liars.
With the success of the James Bond reincarnation, along with the 2010 release of MI6 The History of the Secret Intelligence Service, the Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy 2011 remake turned out to be a big hit in 2011. While people that saw the original BBC miniseries might have known a little too much about the plot and ending to be exited enough to want to see it all again, newcomers to the story took to the twisting intrigue of the plot well.
The film was also been released for digital download, as well as on DVD and Blu-ray on the 30th January 2013.