Caviezel and McKellen Sign on for THE PRISONER Remake

“Where am I?”
“In the Village.”
“What do you want?”
“Information.”
“Whose side are you on?”
“That would be telling…. We want information. Information! INFORMATION!”
“You won’t get it.”
“By hook or by crook, we will.”
“Who are you?”
“The new Number Two.”
“Who is Number One?”
“You are Number Six.”
“I am not a number — I am a free man!”

That cryptic exchange set the stage for one of the trippiest, most original television series ever aired–The Prisoner. Forget Lost, if you want to spend an hour having your mind totally blown, go rustle up an episode of this 1960s cult classic.

Or, apparently, you can just wait for the remake. After a few bumps in the road, AMC’s six-part miniseries, to be co-produced with ITV, is back on track with Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen headlining.

Caviezel will step into Patrick McGoohan’s shoes as Number Six, a man who wakes up in a mysterious town after abruptly resigning from his position as a British secret agent. McKellen will fill the role of Number Two, the administrator of the Village charged with extracting information from Number Six. (In McGoohan’s original, the position of Number Two was assigned to a constantly-rotating series of characters.)

While the original series, which lasted for only 17 episodes in 1967-68, served as a metaphor for Cold War politics, the reinterpretation will reflect 21st Century concerns about liberty, security, and surveillance. The trademark paranoia, tense action and socio-political commentary seen in the original will remain key elements of the remake, according to AMC.

“There will be nods and winks and references back to the original,” said executive producer Christina Wayne, “but I don’t think that (fans) will feel in any way that their original has been tarnished.”

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