Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen in “The Prisoner” for AMC

By Jason

July 1, 2008 Television No comments

AMC announced yesterday that Jim Caviezel (Frequency, The Passion of the Christ) and Ian McKellen (“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the “X-Men” films) have both signed on to star in the network’s “re-imagining” (my word, not theirs) of the highly influential ’60s cult classic, “The Prisoner.”

AMC is co-producing the six-part mini-series with a couple of other companies with a worldwide premiere slated for 2009. “The Prisoner” will be AMC’s second original mini-series and will combine a wide range of genres including espionage, thriller, drama, and sci-fi while expanding upon the network’s distinctive cinematic approach to creating high-quality programming.

Caviezel is set to play the title role of “Number Six,” which was originally played by Patrick McGoohan. McGoohan was not only the star of the original series he was also the creator, producer, writer, and director. With McGoohan’s lead, the series has become widely regarded as one of the most famous and intriguing cult TV series ever created. Ian McKellen will be co-starring with Caviezel in the role of “Number Two.”

AMC says that while the original series, which debuted in 1967, was a riff on Cold War politics, their reinterpretation will reflect more 21st Century concerns and anxieties, such as liberty, security, and surveillance, while also showcasing the same key elements of paranoia, tense action and socio-political commentary seen in McGoohan’s original series.

“‘The Prisoner’ spawned an enormous group of zealous fans who thrived on each week’s psychological twists and turns. AMC’s version brings ‘The Prisoner’ back to primetime, and we’re tempted to discuss more details, but in the spirit of the series, what you DO know, may hurt you,” said Christina Wayne, SVP of scripted original programming.

Bill Gallagher will serve as writer and executive producer. It is produced by Trevor Hopkins, and directed by Jon Jones.

I think this is one of those shows that could go either way. I love the fact that both Jesus and Magneto will be starring in it as both actors are quality performers. Since AMC doesn’t have that many irons in the fire, if you will, they’ll probably spend plenty of time and money on this one which means it should get the attention it’ll need to be successful. I also like the fact that it’s only going to be a six-part mini-series as I’m not ready to commit to any long running psychological mind games right now.

What do you think? Have you seen the original? Should they remake it? Will you watch it?