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The Deacon's Bench

The man who made a name for himself by playing Christ is about to become a number.

This, from Variety:

AMC and ITV will remake Patrick McGoohan’s cult TV show “The Prisoner” as a six-part mini with Ian McKellen as Number Two and Jim Caviezel as Number Six.

The show, skedded to air in 2009, originally was announced by distrib Granada as a co-production between AMC and Brit net Sky One. But Sky One reportedly nixed the deal when the nets couldn’t agree on who should play Number Six.

The show marks Caviezel’s first recurring TV role and McKellen’s second. “The Lord of the Rings” actor starred in 10 episodes of the BBC’s “Coronation Street” in 2005.

Written and exec produced by Bill Gallagher, who wrote the BBC’s six-episode crime mini “Conviction,” the new “Prisoner” will follow a man (Caviezel) who wakes up in a town called the Village and is given the number six in place of his name.

AMC’s Christina Wayne (who will also exec produce) said the mini will pay homage to the original late-1960s series, which McGoohan co-created and starred in, but will also stand alone.

The show’s fan following has been abuzz about the remake since it was announced in 2006.

“There will be nods and winks and references back to the original, but I don’t think that they’ll feel in any way that their original has been tarnished,” said Wayne. “Even though this would fall under sci-fi traditionally, this is a drama at its core.”

While the original show worked as a metaphor for the paranoia of the Cold War, AMC says the remake will reflect 21st-century stressors such as constant surveillance and the conflict between liberty and security.

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