The Alex Rider YA literary franchise has stepped into the realm of television.
The series, a product of U.K.-based indie company Eleventh Hour Films, ITV and Sony Pictures Television, adapts the Alex Rider literary mythology of Anthony Horowitz, who’s also known as the creator of popular U.K.-based World War II-set crime-solver series Foyle’s War. Thus, after a successful home country debut back on June 4, 2020 on Amazon Prime Video U.K. (from which you can check out our spoiler-free review), Alex Rider landed a quick Season 2 renewal.
Now, Alex Rider, which manifests as an eight-episode TV adaptation of the second book in Horowitz’s novel series, Point Blanc, has finally found a distribution home in the U.S.
Alex Rider TV Series Release Date
Alex Rider is now set to premiere stateside on IMDb TV on November 13.
For those unfamiliar, IMDb TV is an ad-supported Amazon-owned U.S. streaming service branded under the vital web resource. As IMDb TV content chiefs Lauren Anderson and Ryan Pirozzi express of the pickup in a statement:
“With a 20-year literary history, the brand and iconic character of Alex Rider resonates with fans around the world. We couldn’t be happier to have IMDb TV as the exclusive U.S. home for this franchise and are excited to deliver customers a beautifully-executed, coming-of-age thriller featuring this dynamic ensemble cast.”
Franchise author and executive producer Anthony Horowitz also chimes in, stating:
“I’ve been thrilled by the response Alex Rider has received on Amazon Prime Video in the UK. Everyone agrees that Otto Farrant is the perfect Alex and that the show absolutely nails the book. It’s everything I could have hoped for and I’m optimistic that viewers in the U.S., Germany, Latin America and many other territories will agree.”
Indeed, the series will also premiere on Amazon Prime Video in Latin America, Australia, Germany and Austria, with the latter two marked for August 7.
Alex Rider TV Series Trailer
With the show’s U.S. premiere now set, you can check out IMDb TV’s Alex Rider trailer just below.
If that didn’t satiate you, here are the previous trailers promoting the show’s initial launch.
Alex Rider TV Series Story
As the official synopsis for the Alex Rider television series reads:
When Alex Rider learns that his Uncle Ian was killed in the line of duty as a British spy – and not a car accident like he’s been told – everything changes for this otherwise normal teen. Alex is soon approached by Alan Blunt, head of a top-secret offshoot of MI6 known as The Department, who reveals that he’s been unknowingly trained since childhood for the dangerous world of espionage. Pressured to leave his old life behind, Alex goes undercover to investigate the connection between the deaths of two billionaires and a remote boarding school called Point Blanc. Upon arrival, he discovers that the students are subjects in the megalomaniacal school director’s plan led to gain control of their families’ business empires. Aided by his classmate Kyra, best friend Tom, and his au pair Jack, Alex exposes the plot’s global network and begins his career as MI6’s youngest covert asset.
Alex Rider TV Series Cast
Otto Farrant (pictured in the title image,) stars as the titular teen spy, Alex Rider, having won the role after a wide star search, reported Deadline. It’s a major step up for Farrant, who recently appeared opposite Ruth Wilson in the BBC One miniseries, Mrs. Wilson, having banked small screen roles on Marcella, War & Peace, Silk and The White Queen, as well as child roles in films such as The Great Ghost Rescue and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
As Farrant expressed in a statement:
“I couldn’t be more excited to play such an iconic character as Alex Rider. I loved the books growing up and it is an honour to be able to step into his shoes and give the fans the fresh and thrilling adaptation the series deserves.”
Director Andreas Prochaska added:
“We met a lot of people for the role of Alex Rider, but when Otto entered the room, there was something magical about him. He has the perfect combination of youth and skilfulness, innocence and professionalism, to bring this iconic character to the screen.”
It didn’t take long for a subsequent announcement of Alex Rider’s supporting cast members. Notably including some alumni from HBO’s Game of Thrones, they consist of the following, as also reported by Deadline:
Brenock O’Connor (Game of Thrones – Olly) as Tom, described as Alex Rider’s “jovial best friend.”
Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo (Doctor Who) as Alex’s housekeeper, Jack Starbright.
Andrew Buchan (Broadchurch) as Ian Rider, Alex’s “detached uncle and reluctant guardian. Unbeknownst to Alex, Ian has been relentlessly training him since childhood and preparing him for the threatening world of espionage.”
Stephen Dillane (Game of Thrones – Stannis Baratheon) as Alan Blunt, commander of The Department, “a secret underworld offshoot of MI6, where Ian Rider spent his life as a field agent. Blunt entraps the unsuspecting Alex to work as an undercover agent at academy Point Blanc.”
Vicky McClure (Line of Duty) as Blunt’s second-in-command, Mrs. Jones, who seeks to keep Alex from danger where possible. She is aided by colleagues John Crawley (Bohemian Rhapsody’s Ace Bhatti) and Smithers (Casual’s Nyasha Hatendi).
Point Blanc—which carries the public façade of correcting the unruly behavior of its teen students—secretly trains super spies. The school characters consist of the following:
Marli Siu (The Sopranos) as Kyra, who hacked the Tokyo stock exchange for millions.
Earl Cave (The End of the F**king World) as James, who shot his private tutor with an air rifle.
Additional players include:
Katrin Vankova (Snatch) as Laura, Nathan Clarke (Tyrant) as Arrash, Talitha Wing (The Feed) as Sasha.
Haluk Bilginer (Halloweeen) plays Dr. Greif, the Academy’s corrupt principal.
Ana Ularu (Siberia) plays Eva Stellenbosh, Greif’s manipulative deputy.
Alex Rider TV Series Details
Andreas Prochaska serves as director and executive producer for the Alex Rider TV series. The Austrian helmer, Prochaska, recently directed the upcoming TV miniseries, Das Boot, a new small-screen sequel to director Wolfgang Peterson’s acclaimed breakout film, 1981 WWII submarine drama Das Boot. Prochaska also fielded TV runs with Anatomy of Evil, Maximilian and Four Women and a Funeral, as well as the 2014 German-Western, The Dark Valley.
Prochaska works off the written word of BAFTA-winning screenwriter Guy Burt (The Bletchley Circle, The Borgias), who was tapped at the project’s outset to pen the script. They will be joined by original author Horowitz himself, who will executive-produce.
As Prochaska expressed in a 2018 statement:
“Within the first few pages of reading Guy Burt’s compelling scripts for the series I was hooked. Guy has taken Anthony’s brilliant, well-loved character and created a bold and unique concept, a coming-of-age story set in the clandestine world of spies sure to excite fans and newcomers alike.”
The teen spy-centered book series of Anthony Horowitz is represented by thirteen novels, an array of supplementary short stories and, notably, the 2006 film, Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker, starring Alex Pettyfer as the hero, joined by a cast consisting of names like Ewan McGregor, Mickey Rourke, Sarah Bolger, Andy Serkis, Stephen Fry, Alicia Silverstone, Robbie Coltrane, Damian Lewis and Sophie Okonedo. However, the film was widely panned as derivative and was anemic upon arrival at the box office, earning just $677,646 in the U.S., totaling $23.9 million worldwide.
The first novel—on which the film was based—in 2000’s Stormbreaker sets the eponymous protagonist’s origin story, in which the death of Alex’s uncle/adoptive father (secretly an MI6 agent,) leads him to becoming a ward of his uncle’s employers, a military academy that secretly trains young agents, eventually tackling the threat of super-computer Stormbreaker. By contrast, 2001’s Point Blanc—which the series will adapt—sees Alex investigating mysterious deaths in a prep school for the offspring of powerful figures.