The story is now so overdone that it’s almost cliché, so it’s difficult to think of a time where a child spy was a novel concept. It was, however, when Anthony Horowitz put pen to paper in 2000 to write Stormbreaker. The book was notoriously adapted into film in 2006, starring a young Alex Pettyfer. Though it was originally intended to spawn a film franchise covering the other books of the series, and even boasted an enormously talented cast featuring Sophie Okonedo, Bill Nighy, Stephen Fry and Alicia Silverstone in potentially recurring roles, the adaptation ultimately failed to make a significant enough impact upon the box office. Subsequent adaptations were therefore dead in the water. Why? Well, as I explained to my Year 5s two years in a row: simply put, it was shit.
However, the first trailer has been released for the TV adaptation, which appears promising. Alex Rider is portrayed by Otto Farrant who, positively, actually looks like a teenager. Also front and centre is Game of Thrones star Brenock O’Connor who plays Alex’s best friend Tom. Tom is a character who is featured later in the Alex Rider series but has been retroactively introduced, in a similar way to Sabina Pleasure in the film.
The TV teaser reveals that the 8-part adaptation will tackle the plot of the second novel Point Blanc, which is based in a boarding school in the French Alps for wayward sons of billionaires. This plot looks set to be merged with Alex being initially recruited as a spy by MI6, as well as the revelation that his late uncle was also a spy. Casting for the other main characters cannot be clearly seen in this trailer, or even if these characters will feature.
Personally, I am thrilled by the look of this trailer. Having watched Alex Rider adapted for film it is safe to say that Anthony Horowitz’s writing can easily flourish in multiple episodes instead of being conflated for ease of viewing. With this, along with His Dark Materials adaptation premiering next month, my childhood novel nostalgia trip is in full flow.
The airdate for Alex Rider has yet to be confirmed.