What the upcoming Alex Rider TV series starring Otto Farrant can do that the 2006 movie couldn't
The series could do good by focusing more on Alex's reluctance to being a spy but still going back to do MI6's dirty work for them
'Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker' has been one of those book-to-movie adaptations that aimed to bring a British teenage superspy to life, but bombed spectacularly. But in a piece of news that would please most Alex Rider fans, there is a TV series in development funded by Sony Pictures Television. The series will consist of eight episodes and will be based on 'Point Blanc', the second of the eleven books written by renowned British author Anthony Horowitz.
'Point Blanc' follows Rider on an assignment to the French Alps. An assassin, known as The Gentleman, murders a well-known American electronics billionaire in an elevator shaft. Shortly afterward, another billionaire dies under suspicious circumstances, and MI6 believes the murders are linked. The only evidence of a link, though, is that they both have sons attending a special school in the French Alps. The school is run by Dr. Grief, a South African scientist who specializes in cloning.
Alex Pettyfer ('Rock of Ages' and 'I am Number Four') was the protagonist in the 2006 film. This time around, Otto Farrant ('Mrs Wilson, Marcella') will star as titular hero Alex Rider, with Brenock O’Connor ('Game of Thrones') as his easy-going and jovial best friend Tom and Andrew Buchan, ('The ABC Murders') as Alex’s uncle Ian Rider.
Rounding off the cast are Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo ('Doctor Who') as Alex’s housekeeper Jack Starbright, Marli Siu ('The Sopranos'), Earl Cave ('Born to Kill'), Katrin Vankova ('Snatch'), Nathan Clarke ('Tyrant') and Talitha Wing ('The Feed') as troublesome teenagers at the Point Blanc academy, Haluk Bilginer ('Halloween') as corrupt principal Dr Greif and Ana Ularu ('Siberia') as his manipulative deputy Eva Stellenbosh.
Farrant, in a statement, said "I couldn’t be more excited to play such an iconic character as Alex Rider. I loved the books growing up and it is an honor to be able to step into his shoes and give the fans the fresh and thrilling adaptation the series deserves."
As reported by Den of Geek, the series is directed by Andreas Prochaska who also serves as the executive producer. The Austrian recently directed the upcoming TV miniseries, 'Das Boot'.
The movie 'Operation Stormbreaker' was based on the first Alex Rider book of the same name, and despite generating enough buzz ahead of the release, it didn't rake in the moolah. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an average 53% and the film was largely criticized for its lack of originality and believability.
Maybe, the series will focus more on Alex's reluctance to being a spy but still goes back to doing MI6's work for them. After all, ten of his books have been about how he never wanted to be a spy but was thrust into missions without a choice. The key factor missing in the movie was profiling Alex as a person and not just a kid who would be excited at the prospect of playing a junior James Bond.
Hopefully, the TV series may see the rating graph move upwards. The release date and the official series name is yet to be confirmed. Watch this space for more updates.