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Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, Judy Davis, Michael Gambon and Ralph Fiennes to star in new David Hare thriller for BBC Two


Filming will commence this month on Page Eight, David Hare’s first original screenplay for 20 years, a contemporary spy thriller for BBC Two starring Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, Judy Davis, Michael Gambon and Ralph Fiennes.

Page Eight, which is to be screened on BBC Two later this year, is both written and directed by Oscar nominee David Hare and produced by David Heyman and David Barron. The film is a co-production between Carnival Films (Downton Abbey, Any Human Heart, Whitechapel), Heyday Films (the Harry Potter series, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, I Am Legend) and Runaway Fridge (the Harry Potter series, Possession).

Also joining the stellar cast are Ewen Bremner (Trainspotting, Snatch, Black Hawk Down), Felicity Jones (The Tempest, Northanger Abbey, Brideshead Revisited), Tom Hughes (Cemetery Junction, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll), Alice Krige (Skin, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Star Trek – First Contact, Chariots Of Fire) and Saskia Reeves (Close My Eyes, A Christmas Carol, Butterfly Kiss).

Johnny Worricker (Nighy) is a long-serving M15 officer. His boss and best friend, Benedict Baron (Gambon), dies suddenly, leaving behind him an inexplicable file which threatens the stability of the organisation.

Meanwhile, a seemingly chance encounter with Johnny’s striking next-door neighbour and political activist, Nancy Pierpan (Weisz), seems too good to be true. Johnny is forced to walk out of his job and then out of his identity to find out the truth.

David Hare says: “The last decade has been as testing as any in the history of the British intelligence community – the compromises and dilemmas they’ve faced in the new century make a fascinating story. I’m thrilled to be working with such an extraordinary ensemble of great actors.”

Best known as a prolific and award-winning playwright (Plenty, Racing Demon, Skylight and The Vertical Hour), David Hare is also an Oscar-nominated screenwriter (The Reader, The Hours). As the writer-director of Wetherby, he won the Berlin Golden Bear in 1985.

NBC Universal will distribute the film worldwide.

Gareth Neame (Carnival), Christine Langan (BBC Films), Scott Rudin and Bill Nighy are executive producers on Page Eight. Rosie Alison (Is Anybody There, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas) and Celia Duval (Margot, Christopher & His Kind) will co-produce. Martin Ruhe (The American, Control, Harry Brown) is director of photography.

Page Eight was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two, and Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning.

Ben Stephenson says: “David Hare’s return to the BBC with this gripping spy thriller and star-studded cast is indicative of the quality and ambition of the drama you will see on BBC Two in 2011, following the great start to the year for the channel with the record breaking Eric And Ernie.”



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