Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie have a broiling-hot series on their hands, and the show hasn’t even made its debut yet — not in the U.S., anyway.
The Night Manager, a new spy-thriller from the BBC and AMC, has already premiered across the pond to rave reviews. For many fans of the two British stars, who have trod very different paths in their respective routes to stardom, the headliners alone make this series must see TV. But the reception the series is getting in the U.K. puts a special sparkle on the paint job as The Night Manager prepares for its initial run in the U.S. April 19.
The series is also holding a 100-percent critics score (though only seven reviews are in) on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 100-percent fan score from 155 ratings at the time of publication. What’s more, the show is credited with the latest buzz about the next James Bond, as fans see Hiddleston’s performance as a precursory screen test of sorts for the role.
“For some reason, we hit the right spot at the right time,” Laurie told Variety at the show’s LA premiere. “I hoped that it would be something that we’d all be proud of and I hoped that it would be something that (author) John Le Carre would not disown,” he quipped.
Inspired by an espionage novel from LeCarre, the mini-series follows Hiddleston as a former soldier named Jonathon Pine whose retirement from service sees him running a luxury hotel. Laurie plays an arms dealer named Richard Onslow Roper. In a welcome role reversal for the pair (in most U.S. titles, anyway), Hiddleston plays the protagonist, while Laurie is the villain.
However, things appear to get messy early on as Hiddleston is dragged into Laurie’s world, with plenty of twists and turns along the way, in the spy genre tradition.
If the big response overseas and the two iconic leads aren’t enough to entice, the scenery just might be. The Night Manager was reportedly filmed on location in Morocco and Switzerland, and Variety reports that it had a hefty $28.7 million production cost, for just six episodes. At the very least, we know the two networks definitely didn’t skimp.
Along with Laurie and Hiddleston, the series also stars consummate British actors Olivia Colman (Peep Show, Broadchurch) and Tom Hollander (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation), along with Elizabeth Debicki, Michael Nardone, and Alistair Petrie. The series was directed and co-produced by Susanne Bier, with producers Simon and Stephen Cornwell.
The Night Manager premieres in the U.S. on AMC Tuesday, April 19 at 10:00 pm ET.