Watch: Cast & Crew Of Sony/Eleventh Hour’s ‘Alex Rider’ TV Series At MCM London Comic Con!
As the second day of MCM London comes to an end, we found ourselves swimming with new information on brand new ‘Alex Rider‘ tv series from Sony Pictures Television and Eleventh Hour Films. First up we have the panel from Saturday’s Main Stage at MCM, featuring Otto Farrant, who plays the titular Alex Rider, Vicky McClure who stars as Mrs Jones, Ronke Adekoluejo who portrays Jack Starbright, creator and exec producer Anthony Horowitz, director Andreas Prochaska, and writer Guy Burt. Following that, we have a separate press interview, giving you even more info about the upcoming drama.
For those of you that don’t know ‘Alex Rider’, the series is based on Anthony Horowitz’s hugely popular novel series, which follows teenager, Alex, who is pushed into joining secret government organisation “The Department” after his uncle (who is also his adopted parent), is killed.
The eight-part coming-of-age tv series is based on Point Blanc, which may raise a few fan eyebrows, as they will know that is the second novel in Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider collection. Although there was a highly entertaining exchange about the reason for this in the panel (which Anthony Horowitz deftly sidestepped), it seems to be so the tv show avoids covering the same ground as the (less than successful) 2006 movie ‘Stormbreaker’, which followed the first novel. Horowitz does go on to explain that the tv show incorporates the key “origin” elements from Stormbreaker, and morphs them into the Point Blanc plot instead, so viewers unfamiliar with the source material don’t need to worry about being lost. “This is the show I wish the film had been,” he added.
Another point which came across was the tone of the new drama. Due to the source material being a YA novel series, you might expect the show to be some sort of “teen drama”, but the clips we were shown and the comments from the panel seem to point things in a much different direction. As Horowitz explains, due to him being too busy writing Nightshade, the new Alex Rider novel, the screenwriting duties were passed on to BAFTA award-winning screenwriter Guy Burt, whose previous work includes shows such as ‘The Borgias’, ‘Wire in the Blood’ and ‘The Bletchley Circle’.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am about the fact that he’s [Burt] has been so true to the spirit of Point Blanc, and of the characters and the plot,” said Horowitz. “But he has really made it his own and expanded the world and made it more adult and darker. And, in some ways, I think even more intense than the book.”
They go on to explain that they obviously don’t want to alienate the younger audience either, but you have to bear in mind that 2020 will mark the 20th Aniversary of the novel series, so there are fully grown adults out there that grew up reading these stories, alongside the kids who pick them up today. “It’s great to take something which is already a cracking, thrilling story and look at how we can expand it,” adds Burt. “What other characters we can bring in, and how we can dig into the emotional side of it a little more because I think that that’s worth doing, especially when you’re seeking to reach an older audience.”
At the moment, it has not been announced where the ‘Alex Rider‘ tv series will air, not just in the UK, but worldwide. It is a slightly unusual situation where Sony chose to make the show and promote it to the public, but are still in the process of securing a broadcaster. However, the drama has been getting a lot of interest, so they are expected to announce a home for it “soon”. We’ll let you know when something is confirmed.
You can watch the whole of the main stage panel in the video at the top of the article, and the additional press interview in the video below.