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John le Carre

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Post  eddie Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:04 am

Smiley's People: Gary Oldman spies a thrilling return in Le Carré sequel

Star of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy says screen adaptation of the third novel in John le Carré's Karla trilogy looks on the cards

Ben Child, Tuesday 29 November 2011 10.43 GMT

John le Carre Gary-Oldman-in-Tinker-Tai-007
I spy ... Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – the actor looks set to reprise his role as George Smiley in Smiley's People

Gary Oldman looks set to return to the world of cold war espionage in a sequel to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which topped the UK box office for three weeks earlier this year and has received almost universal acclaim from critics.

Speaking last night at the Gotham Independent Film awards in New York, where he received a career tribute, Oldman told that British production company Working Title was in talks to shoot a sequel of sorts.

"I think they're whispering now that they might do Smiley's People," said Oldman. "Not so much as a sequel, because there's a book in the middle actually, but we've set up the world and we'll revisit."

Directed by Swedish film-maker Tomas Alfredson of Let the Right One In fame, and starring Oldman, Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Tom Hardy and Ciaran Hinds, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy opens in the US on 9 December. The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw awarded the film five stars and called it "a skin-crawlingly atmospheric, uncompromisingly cerebral and austere account of John le Carré's cold war espionage novel".

Smiley's People, originally published in 1979, is the third and final novel of John le Carré's Karla trilogy, following Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Honourable Schoolboy. It sees an older Smiley called out of retirement for the last time to investigate the death of one of his old agents, a former Soviet general who was also the titular head of an Estonian émigré organisation based in London. The book's dramatic denouement sees the spy confronting his nemesis, the Soviet spy-master Karla.

Working Title's apparent decision to film Smiley's People next mirrors that of the BBC, which also chose not to film The Honourable Schoolboy when it filmed Le Carré's books in the 1970s and 80s with Alec Guinness in the lead role.
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