Oldman will be stepping in to the shoes of Sir Alec Guiness who played the role in 1979 for the seven-part BBC adaptation of the book. It aired as part of PBS’s Great Performances series. He reprised the role in 1982 for the BBC’s adaptation of the sequel novel Smiley’s People.
In Le Carre’s novel, George Smiley is a retired intelligence officer who is reactivated in order to ferret out a Soviet mole in the highest levels of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service. Le Carre based the novel on the Cambridge Five, a group of Soviet spies operating in England from World War Two up into the 1950s.
The new film version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy will be helmed by Let The Right One In director Tomas Alfredson from a script by Frost/Nixon and The Queen scribe Peter Morgan.