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Paging Idris Elba: There’s a new British spy movie franchise in the works

The cover of Ted Bell's Patriot

If the recent casting rumors circling the James Bond franchise have proven anything, it’s that Britain is clearly suffering from a deficit of spy franchises to keep its most handsome actors in suits and shaken drinks. Luckily, it sounds like Paramount might have Q-ed up a solution to this spy-labor crisis, picking up the rights to another Brit-based espionage franchise that’s been compared to Ian Fleming’s Bond books.

Deadline reports that the studio has acquired the rights to Ted Bell’s Sir Alexander Hawke books, a nine-volume series centered on “terrorism’s worst nightmare,” a hard-fighting military man who battles pirates, Vladimir Putin, and, of course, cannibals. Kurt Wimmer, whose last espionage script was the enjoyably dumb Angelina Jolie vehicle Salt, will write the film, while Lorenzo Di Bonaventura is producing. The announcement will presumably come as a relief to the work-starved Idris Elbas and Tom Hiddlestons of the world, who will no longer have to scrounge around dumpsters to find hand-tailored suits or exploding pens to get their spy-thriller fix.


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