Tom Hardy replaces Michael Fassbender in TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY!

Michael Fassbender's exit from Working Title's forthcoming adaptation of John Le Carre's classic Cold War, anti-Bond spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy has hardly been unexpected. We've known for months that he had sacrificed his role in the movie to play Magneto for Matt Vaughn's X-Men: First Class - but what we didn't expect is that his replacement would fill us with this much excitement. The Daily Mail (via The Playlist) report that Inception's Tom Hardy will now play Ricky Tarr, a British operative who helps the middle-aged George Smiley (Gary Oldman) come out of retirement to hunt down a Soviet mole in €˜the Circus€™, the highest department of MI6. Hardy, who without any apprehension throws his whole body and soul into challenging roles in a similar way as to his elder Londoner - had suddenly found himself with a free schedule after Mad Max: Fury Road's production was delayed until 2011. Acclaimed Swedish director Tomas Alfredson (of Let The Right One In fame helming his English-language debut) has scored a huge coup by securing his signature here. Adapted by Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon, the so far unrealised Bond 23) - Tinker, Tailor, etc - begins filming in a matter of weeks in London with a supporting cast that includes Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciaran Hinds and Jared Harris. Previously attached wasDavid Thelwis who has now exited the project. Apparently Ralph Fiennes is being courted for a major role too. Oldman (left) takes on George Smiley, memorably played by Alec Guinness (right) in a well-regarded 70's t.v. adaptation. Is this one of our most anticipated movies of next year? Well - it has to be with the power of the cast behind it (we've been crying out for Oldman to accept a leading role like this for ages), a director who blew us away with Let The Right One In and source material that is one of the greatest Brit spy thrillers of all time - so yeah... how can it not be?
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.