One of 2016's best shows looks like making a return
The Night Manager was one of 2016’s biggest television success stories. An adaptation on John le Carré’s spy novel of the same name, it was a six-episode thriller. Tom Hiddleston starred as polite hotel porter Jonathan Pine turned undercover agent. Part puppy dog, part ruthless, his adventures stalking corrupt businessman Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie) were enthralling from the start. And the show’s brilliant supporting cast was an added bonus – Olivia Colman starred as the wily, determined Angela Burr, while witty no-gooder Corcoran was savagely portrayed by Tom Hollander.
Fans of the show are already desperate for a return. But currently, no celebrated le Carré adaptation has ever been expanded on – season one told the entire story. A second season would be a huge challenge. But it looks like it’s happening. Here’s everything we know so far.
Season 2: Is The Night Manager definitely coming back?
There remains a chance that The Night Manager will not be renewed. Screenwriter on season one, David Farr, said he won’t be returning. “There is lots of pressure [to make another series] but I’m not keen,” he told Variety. “Personally, I liked the fact that the story ended where the story ended. But that’s entirely personal. Given the characters, there is a potential for something more to happen, and I’m sure someone could find the right idea. But for me it’s done. My simple feeling is that I wouldn’t be able to make the next one as good.”
However, season one wasn’t an exact adaptation of le Carré’s novel. Olivia Colman’s character Angela Burr wasn’t involved, although the author later admitted: “I wish I’d written Mrs Burr into my novel.”
Back in March, production company The Ink Factory, AMC and BBC said they were together “developing a potential second [season] of ‘The Night Manager,’ but nothing is definite yet and we have nothing to announce.”
Le Carré’s standoffish approach to season one suggests he could be happy to allow script writers to use their own imaginations for a future plot. BBC Director of Content Charlotte Moore said the company was speaking to the novelist. “We wouldn’t be talking with them if he didn’t think it was a good idea,” she said. “Of course he wants to take part in it, it’s his work. He will definitely be involved in what we do next.”
Those behind the show are approaching a follow-up with caution. “We all very much want to do a season two, but the thing we absolutely do not want is to do something that does not live up to the level of season one. That would be a really bad idea,” director Susanne Bier told Broadcast earlier this year.
When is The Night Manager season two released?
Not for at least a year. No script has been written, so a late 2017 / early 2018 release is very unlikely. Pin your bets on late 2018.
How many episodes are in the next Night Manager season?
Nothing is confirmed. Season one was technically a miniseries, with six episodes.
Has filming begun?
Filming ought to begin for The Night Manager season two soon, although no plans have officially been confirmed.
Is everyone in the original cast returning?
Several cast members have confirmed their interest in a second series.
“You’d have to be a complete idiot to say no,” Olivia Colman told Deadline. “I think that if they called we’d all say yes. But I don’t know. I haven’t heard yet if they’re doing this or not.”
However, lead star Tom Hiddleston said the decision for a second season lay with the original plot’s author. “I think it is still in the lap of Le Carré himself,” he said. “I think we’re all aware that there is an appetite for more, but it really lies with the author, as it should, and if he can see a way for them to continue in a framework that fits his original conception.”
Despite Hiddleston’s cautiousness, an insider for the Express said he, Colman and Hugh Laurie “all want to do a second series.”
David Harewood, who plays Colman’s love interest in season one, told Digital Spy: “I would crawl across broken glass to work with Olivia again. She’s fantastic – a really wonderful actress. I thought we made quite a nice team – so I’d like to explore their relationship and see them working together again, for sure.”
What is the plot going to be?
If the show is to return, it will go one of two ways. It’ll either be heralded by a plot written by Le Carré himself. Or it will become a Bond-like franchise, following the heroic adventures of Jonathan Pine. It may even go under a different name, going forward.
“There’s no book and there’s never been a Le Carré story that has been extended beyond the confines of the novel,” said producer Simon Cornwell. “It would be interesting to try that,” he added.
Additional research: Courtney Wynter.
This blog will be updated as more information comes in.