AMC's remake of the British television classic "The Prisoner" has secured a pair of high profile leads in Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen.
AMC and ITV Productions and Grenada International have been planning their new incarnation of "The Prisoner" for several years. The current plan is to begin production on the six-part miniseries later this year and premiere in 2009.
The new "Prisoner" has been written by Bill Gallagher.
The original version of "The Prisoner" was written and produced by Patrick McGoohan and premiered in 1967 and ran for only 17 episodes. McGoohan also starred in the political parable, it focused on a government agent who resigns and immediately finds himself drugged, kidnapped and deposited in a remote community known as The Village. Despite his protestations that he's not a number, he actually is. He becomes Number Six. During each episode he learns new things about The Village and when he isn't trying to escape, he's being interrogated by the person he believes to be in charge, the mysterious Number Two, who was played by an assortment of different actors.
"Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen bring an incredible level of talent to the project, and we're honored they are taking on these important roles. We look forward to this production revitalizing a classic and bringing Patrick McGoohan's brilliant and captivating story to an entirely new generation of viewers," states Charlie Collier, AMC's general manager and executive vice president. "The caliber of Hollywood talent AMC is attracting further validates our programming vision and our successful strategy of producing quality cinematic originals that stand alongside our library of iconic movies."
In the remake, Caviezel will play Number Six. The AMC release says McKellen will play Number Two, but it's unclear if that means that the concept has been reimagined to include only a single Number Two. The AMC release on the series says that "AMC's reinterpretation will reflect 21st Century concerns and anxieties, such as liberty, security, and surveillance, yet also showcase the same key elements of paranoia, tense action and socio-political commentary seen in McGoohan's enigmatic original."
McKellen agrees, adding, "Bill Gallagher's new version of 'The Prisoner' is an enthralling commentary on modern culture. It is witty, intelligent and disturbing. I am very excited to be involved."
In addition to his Oscar nominated turns in "Gods and Monsters" and "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," McKellen has been seen in "The Da Vinci Code" and the "X-Men" films.
Best known for "The Passion of the Christ," Caviezel's other credits include "Frequency" and "Deja Vu."