Ain't It Cool News (

Sir Ian McKellen To Play The New Number Two In THE PRISONER Remake Miniseries??

I am – Hercules!!
We want information. Information. Information. Six Of One, which bills itself as the official appreciation society for the amazing old British TV series “The Prisoner,” says it has exclusive details on a new AMC/ITV “Prisoner” miniseries: * Ian McKellen will play chief jailer Number Two; * Jim Caviezel will play chief inmate Number Six; * Jon Jones (“Cold Feet”) directs; * Six episodes will be produced; * Shooting starts the first week of August; * It shoots on location in Namibia and South Africa; * It airs next year. I confess I’m not too familiar with Six Of One, but there’s an awful lot of specificity there. Is the casting of big-deal movie star McKellen as Number Two too good to be true? If the shoot starts in less than two months, we’ll likely have some measure of the report’s accuracy sooner rather than later … Find Six of One’s report here.

From The Guy Who Wrote
The Making of Star Wars
And The Guy Who Wrote
Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays!!

Five Discs Of Blu-ray Blade Runner: $21.95!! Summer Blu-ray Blowout!!

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • June 9, 2008, 8:40 p.m. CST

    Good casting.

    by mr_macphisto

    I miss "Gone".

  • June 9, 2008, 8:44 p.m. CST

    I think McKellan....

    by mr_macphisto

    ...would have been NOTE PERFECT as Astrid the Genius in the "Gone" movie.

  • June 9, 2008, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Better not get in the way of...

    by Dataset

    The Hobbit

  • June 9, 2008, 8:48 p.m. CST

    I am not a number...

    by Dataset

    I am... Jesus Christ!

  • June 9, 2008, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Glad to see this back on track

    by Aloy

    Looking forward to the scenes with the dreaded giant beach ball.

  • June 9, 2008, 8:57 p.m. CST

    Spoiler Alert: Number One's gonna be McGoohan--again!

    by MrMysteryGuest

  • June 9, 2008, 8:58 p.m. CST

    OK...maybe not...:P

    by MrMysteryGuest

  • June 9, 2008, 9:05 p.m. CST

    Sounds good! Rover!

    by D_T

    Agreed on the casting, seems good to me. Hahaha, we have his big, white workout ball and it always reminds me of Rover (the big, spooky balloon that retreives McGoohan). <p> When we were in the UK we visited Portmeirion in Wales - I ran down the beach Prisoner style (elbows tucked in) - yes, we drink alot on that trip :^)

  • June 9, 2008, 9:29 p.m. CST

    only one number 2? doesn't that miss something?

    by jccalhoun

    Honestly, part of the weirdness is that there were several number 2s. If there is only one it will have a much different feel.<br><br>Honestly, the original Prisoner is one of those things that is pretty darn perfect in its own way. I find it hard to see any remake even approaching the quirky of its time weirdness of the original. While its themes can be made to be very effective in this current society of "war on terror" and surveillance I'm just not sure that it can be successful.

  • June 9, 2008, 9:32 p.m. CST

    You had me at McKellan...

    by Bungion Boy

    and you lost me with Caviezel. The Jesus movie aside, he's never really impressed me. Kind of always bores me, especially when he's paired with better, more interesting actors like Guy Pierce in Count of Monte Cristo for example. I was skeptical about this project early on. I'm not convinced it will be good. Wasn't Chris Nolan going to make a feature of this? Why doesn't Ian jump on to that ship instead.

  • June 9, 2008, 9:51 p.m. CST

    I am NOT a number ! No wait.. I am :-)

    by G100

    Number one was a Gorilla !

  • June 9, 2008, 9:52 p.m. CST

    Better Number Six=Clive Owen.

    by Hesiod2k7

    McKellan good. Dump Caviezel.

  • June 9, 2008, 9:54 p.m. CST

    Caviezel=Not smart guy

    by Hesiod2k7

    He actually gave an interview to some in flight magazne saing he was inspired to rtake the part of Jesus in Passion of the Christ because he was the same age as Jesus when he was crucified (supposedly) and he HAD THE SAME INITIALS!

  • June 9, 2008, 9:54 p.m. CST


    by aversiontherapy2

    No no no.

  • June 9, 2008, 9:57 p.m. CST

    Yeah, what's up with only one Number 2???

    by JackIsLost

    It should be different in every episode, like the original. I don't understand this and I am not one of those that immortalizes the original. I really love some episodes but it never really came together to tell one coherent story. So, there's room for improvement (in my opinion) but one thing I do know is you MUST have multiple Number 2's (even if some get multiple episodes). That's all.

  • June 9, 2008, 9:59 p.m. CST

    Maybe they can cast all the fat Harry is hoping to lose...

    by JackIsLost

    as the Rover. Now THAT would be scary as hell rushing at you.

  • June 9, 2008, 10 p.m. CST

    Caviezel casting = #2

    by Hesiod2k7

  • June 9, 2008, 10:02 p.m. CST

    McKellan is too old!!

    by duncanwk

    What is he like 79.

  • June 9, 2008, 10:03 p.m. CST

    Number one...

    by duncanwk

    I order you to take a number two.

  • June 9, 2008, 10:04 p.m. CST

    The twist is...

    by snowpuff

    ...the finale will be shown on the SciFi channel in 2019!!

  • June 9, 2008, 10:27 p.m. CST

    Airs where?

    by fiester

    Is this a BBC project?

  • June 9, 2008, 10:33 p.m. CST

    So far, not bad.

    by kabong

    Even if he is old, McKellen is a powerful presence. Caviezel is not strong enough to balance the conflict. <p> Guy Pearce would be good as Number Six . . . and maybe he could drag Chris Nolan into it. <p> Sign that the prod is going off the track is if they cast Verne Troyer as the butler.

  • June 9, 2008, 11:05 p.m. CST

    The Prisoner is one of my favs...

    by Etrigan_

    I guess I'll finally find out what it feels like to have my childhood rapes. As much as I'd like it to be, there's no way this can be good unless they change it a lot (it's not the 60's anymore). They may as well make a different movie, or spin off from the original.

  • June 9, 2008, 11:06 p.m. CST

    I mean..

    by Etrigan_

    raped. Though that's kinda funny...

  • June 9, 2008, 11:12 p.m. CST

    The Prisoner remake?

    by one9deuce

    It can't possibly end worse than the original. I had never even seen one episode of The Prisoner until I rented them on DVD. I absolutely love the opening of the show, I loved the first 11 or 12 episodes, and I was positively frothing at the mouth to see how it was going to end........ <p> SPOILER ALERT <p> It ends like shit. The last three episodes are complete garbage. I was appalled at how poorly they were made. The only explanation I can come up with is that the main creative team did a little too much LSD and mushrooms toward the end of the series.

  • June 9, 2008, 11:16 p.m. CST

    Jim Caviezal (like I give a shit how it's spelled)

    by Big Bad Clone

    I can not stand this guy. I mane, he may be a great guy off screen but evrything about his performances drives me up the wall. His accent in Frequency was like having being pulled by my ears over road made of razor blades.

  • Oh good another Bu$Hilter analogy<p>Maybe Zionist Jews will be blamed too<p> Well it will make those actors involved popular at parties.<p> Screw creativity and believability. <p> You know what would be really great? If the place was run by Southern Christians and Jews. Maybe they can have a Snidely Whiplash mustachio that they twirl. <p> Not bad enough that they have to bottom out creatively on a remake they keep digging with the expected Bu$Hilter Chimpy McHaliburtin analogy.<p> Maybe they'll get creative and corporations (ohhh) will be ... wait for it ... evil.<p> Here is an untried idea, why don';t you make the villain a left-wing NGO?

  • June 9, 2008, 11:46 p.m. CST

    Compared to the original

    by jbs0209

    Where it was never really stated who the bad guys were<p> Although taking a bus (IIRC) to London was a bit of a clue.

  • June 10, 2008, 1:03 a.m. CST

    Theme Song . . .

    by Jarro

    . . . by Maiden. Done and done! In fact, they should do a soundtrack.

  • June 10, 2008, 1:39 a.m. CST

    6 of 1 is a great site

    by bacci40

    one of the first places i found when i first got addicted to the net...but caviezel is an awful choice...and the gag about the new number 2, is that there is a new one in each epi, as the last one failed to get number 6 to break...the only number 2 to return was leo mckern...i really wish they wouldnt remake this, and if they had to, the only guy to be number 6 is eccleston...he is perfect

  • June 10, 2008, 1:43 a.m. CST

    one9deuce...sorry you didnt get the finale'

    by bacci40

    was never meant to be close ended...the viewer is always left to wonder if the villiage is a creation of number 6's mind or a real place...i think the final 2 episodes are the best stuff ever put on video tape...and lost fans should be required to watch the prisoner

  • June 10, 2008, 2:25 a.m. CST

    Jim Caviezel? Hardly the first person I'd think of to play No 6

    by newc0253

    Ian McKellan, on the other hand, would be a natural for no. 2.

  • June 10, 2008, 2:56 a.m. CST

    mother fuckers

    by TinSpider

    This shouldn't be remade. It was a product of it's wacky 60's time. I breathed a sigh of relief when I head sky had dropped the project because of the creative differences from the us backers, but it looks like it's back on. And Bacci... you are right. The ending is one of the bravest ever to be put out.

  • June 10, 2008, 3:12 a.m. CST


    by critch

    Jesus and Gandalf are far too big to be in a miniseries. If it was an actual movie, sure, but this is really unlikely.

  • June 10, 2008, 3:28 a.m. CST

    Wrong casting for number six..

    by wowsah156

    The Prisoner was an archetypal English story about how a man rebels against the system in an intelligent English mannered way. Caviezel doesnt have this type of up bringing. Bad casting. Also the storyline will need to be along the lines of something that David Lynch would write. It has to be arcane weird, and occult. The only person who could pull of Number six in the 21st Centrury would either be Sean Pertwee, or David Tennant.

  • June 10, 2008, 4:03 a.m. CST


    by mulberry

    They talked about Christopher Eccleston for this a few years back. That would have been good, but they need to go for international audience (therefore American hero, English Baddie)

  • June 10, 2008, 4:48 a.m. CST

    Mel Gibson...

    by DC Films

    was gonna make this a few years back - then he did Passion of The Christ instead. That obviously starred Caviezel, so i wonder if Mel was eyeing Caviezel for the number 6 role back then and his interest/involvement is a hangover from that! Maybe!!! Personally i think Caviezel is an excellent actor, but i'd expected to see someone more along McGoohan's lines - idiosyncratic and enigmatic, as someone mentioned already, David Tennent, or Chris Eccleston would be good. McGoohan played it in a similar way actors approach Dr Who. Anyhow, no reason it has to be a similar performance to McGoohan, so long as it all work within it's own logic, and Caviezel when given the chance Caviezel impresses.

  • June 10, 2008, 5:15 a.m. CST

    No.2 should change each episode

    by V'Shael

    That was kind of the point.

  • June 10, 2008, 5:41 a.m. CST

    TinSpider and everyone else

    by bacci40

    there is a very good mini doc on the prisoner up on youtube, that basically goes through exactly why it is a landmark in tv series as it works on so many different levels and yet remains could say, it was the wire of its day, albeit a sci fi/spy show that was attempting to deal with all of the issues that people were struggling with, and mcgoohan wanted to deal with...i got to watch it in its original run, when i was a me, the show was an extension of danger man/secret agent...i didnt get the socio/political/religious commentary...then when pbs ran it years later, i understood what mcgoohan was trying to me, its pretty amazing when a tv show is crafted in such a fashion...whatever they do with a remake, it wont be on the level of the cant was too personal a project

  • June 10, 2008, 6:01 a.m. CST

    What Happened To Eccleston?

    by tomdolan04

    I thought he was pretty much locked to the project. Bah. He was pretty much the only guy I was open to for this remake, since McGoohan OWNED this role. His quirky mannerisms and his fierce determination (you get the feeling in interview he was as evasive, playfully intelligent and passionate as number six, if not more so) simply cannot be replicated. <p> The Prisoner is not a perfect series, but it's far far greater than the sum of its parts. As the years go by it's the one that stands out in my mind and simply is not comparable to any other TV show. A project of passion, the likes of which won't be seen again.

  • June 10, 2008, 6:26 a.m. CST

    Lets cut to the chase and remake everything!

    by Yeti

    No matter how good, bad, or unwarranted.

  • June 10, 2008, 7:20 a.m. CST

    Number Six played by---

    by Sw0rdfish

    Hugh Laurie. I've thought so since I first ever saw the guy.

  • June 10, 2008, 7:24 a.m. CST

    my casting

    by Celtican

    Number 6 - Damien Lewis Number 2 - Stephen Fry

  • Number Six needs to have a solid secret agent/James Bond vibe to him, as well as an intensity that Caviezel simply doesn't have. <p>Oh, and to those children bitching about the ending to the classic PRISONER, I'm sorry if you need a finale that's simpler and less open to debate and interpretation. Perhaps you should watch reruns of THE HILLS instead.</p>

  • June 10, 2008, 10:25 a.m. CST

    the egg chair from MIB has been cast

    by ArcadianDS

    as a chair in one of the oddball offices.<p> SPOILER: McGoohan makes a #2 in it.

  • June 10, 2008, 10:47 a.m. CST

    the ending is pretty brilliant

    by jccalhoun

    just because nothing is explained explicitly doesn't mean that the end isn't really good. I mean just the scene where we find out that we've been told the identity of number one in the opening credits of every episode and didn't even know it is enough to make this a great ending.

  • June 10, 2008, 11:04 a.m. CST

    If Lost ends anything liek The Prisoner... by Node32774

    by DennisMM

    Promise? One less person running around screaming about the brilliance of "Lost" is a step in the right direction.

  • June 10, 2008, 11:13 a.m. CST

    English! British!

    by DennisMM

    The Prisoner (don't call him Number Two - the production wasn't allowed to) must be British. He must have a certain coolness paired with a somewhat painful intensity. Good also if he's fairly attractive. Daniel Craig IS The Prisoner! Kidding, kidding.

  • June 10, 2008, 11:43 a.m. CST

    This has promise

    by mr dark

    When I first heard about this long rumored on and off again project I hoped it would never see the light of day..It would be blasphemy to remake such an awesome tv series..But I'm warming up to the idea with casting like this.. I don't think Mc Goohan will partake though from what I've heard he wants nothing to do with it anymore..

  • June 10, 2008, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Ka bong

    by mr dark

    yeah Mini me as the butler would be a sign of pure box office poison..

  • June 10, 2008, 12:21 p.m. CST

    This is stupid.

    by Johnny Smith

    You don't mess with a classic. Also, LOST will end like The Prisoner, because Jacob is a time-displaced Jack.

  • June 10, 2008, 1:02 p.m. CST

    Will the big balloon still be around?

    by Pizza The Hut

    I think this may suck, especially if it gets too high techie-tech (every movie is these days). If anything, the tech has to be downright creepy, "old school", mechanical in nature, and not easily explained. Not filming in Portmeirion will be a big drawback. "The Village" and "Rover" were stars in their own right, as was the music. Also, I don't like the casting for No. 6.

  • June 10, 2008, 1:16 p.m. CST

    C'mon, LOST already is THE PRISONER.

    by SpyGuy

    Smoke Monster = Rover 2.0.

  • June 10, 2008, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Dude, CLIVE OWEN, Totally

    by LaserPants

    Not Jeebus! Thats all wrong! McKellan will surely rule though.<br><br>The final episode of THE PRISONER is, hands down, the greatest ending to a brilliant series EVER. I really hope they don't fuck up the legacy.

  • June 10, 2008, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Node - re: Heroes

    by DennisMM

    I don't watch television much. Have seen first two years of "Lost," season one and part of season two of "Heroes," and I found both shows got dull after a bit. "Heroes" is overloaded with characters and didn't know where it should go. "Lost" became a gimmick show by the end of season two. The people were far less important than the "weird shit" that kept happening. From what I've read it's even more of a gimmick show having finished season 4. "Battlestar Galactica" makes them both look sick.

  • June 10, 2008, 3:57 p.m. CST

    six of one is legit

    by sonnylarue

    they are the longtime prisoner fan organization, that puts on conventions at the Port Meridian resort where the 1960's show was shot. They've been around since the 1970's , and have always been "in the know " on Prisoneer Info.

  • June 10, 2008, 4:29 p.m. CST

    This rumour looks very unlikely!

    by Lew Stringer

    I think Sir Ian McKellen will be too busy elsewhere to lend any credence to this rumour. He's on international tour with the RSC and will be in Australia when he's alleged to be filming in Libya:

  • June 10, 2008, 5:04 p.m. CST

    I thought this whole project was scrapped...

    by Kelvington

    Didn't this whole thing get scrapped after Christopher Eccleston left it? I doubt this will ever see the light of day.

  • June 10, 2008, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Reliable Prisoner site

    by Lew Stringer

    Seems that Six of One may have cobbled together this rumour from various sources. I used to be a member of that fan club and these rumours date back years. Nothing has ever come of it, and given Ian McKellens other commitments (touring with the RSC) this looks very unlikely too. For a reliable, independent, Prisoner news source not affiliated with the fan club, visit: There's also an independent Prisoner convention in July. All profits to to a charity for terminally ill children. If you're interested in attending visit:

  • June 10, 2008, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Re: Jon Frakes

    by KazamaSmokers

    I don't understand Frakes' career. I've liked every movie he's directed, and yet they've all been huge bombs. That guy has terrible luck.

  • June 10, 2008, 9:21 p.m. CST

    I wonder if #2 should change every episode...

    by password.swordfish

    Sorry, it just seems like 95 people have already pointed that out, and I clearly felt like being an asshole. McKellen does almost no wrong; the man is phenomenal. His name attached to anything is a draw, as far as I'm concerned. Especially after his explanation of acting to Andy in Extras ("you are aware I'm not really a wizard, aren't you?").

  • June 10, 2008, 9:25 p.m. CST

    Oh and DennisMM

    by password.swordfish

    I was with you at the end of the 2nd season for Lost, but stuck with it. Halfway through season 3 it got MUCH better, the finale was jaw-droppingly awesome, and the 4th season was stellar. I too have the BSG love-on like mad, but it doesn't negate my ability to enjoy Lost. Why do we, as geeks, assume that liking one thing that we think is superior to others mean that we can't like anything else? Hate to break it to you, but the Wire is even still superior to BSG, but I still loved them both.

  • June 10, 2008, 9:31 p.m. CST


    by theseventhshore

    Take a careful look at the title font for 'LOST'...and you'll see it throughout the Village. Rover/Smokey parallels are undeniable. The Prisoner was about a man's struggle to destroy his own Ego in the face of rampant imperialism/capitalism/socio-political pressure. LOST will be about something similar for its main characters (especially Jack), in the face on a spiritually-bankrupt modern lifestyle. Island=Bardo Realms=Fuck Yeah!

  • June 10, 2008, 9:58 p.m. CST

    i've watched the first 2 episodes of The Prisoner so far...

    by nalapou

    And I'm not very impressed... I enjoyed Nowhere Man, and Lost is my favourite show ever... I'll keep watching though...

  • June 10, 2008, 11:28 p.m. CST

    i like caviezel

    by bright

    his politics aside, he'd a very good actor, especially good at showing intensity. he can communicate a lot with a look - see the thin red line. he'll be fine.

  • June 11, 2008, 7:12 a.m. CST

    Hmm... I have information

    by SKULL1138

    You never heard this from me, but the No 2 will change each episode. <P> I have seen the location shots of the african village, very weird looking for africa <P> Everyone is numbers same as the old one, and no one allowed to talk about who they really are, but does not have all the weird surreal stuff of old one. <P> Whats under the village is a question that should be asked? <P> First I have heard of Caviezel, but then, when I was getting info they had not cast it yet <P> They wanted Daniel Craig until CR took off and then they wanted Gerard Butler until 300 took off.also eccleston was mooted a while back as well, but he passed it up. <P> I strongly suspect that Paddy McGoohan will be making a cameo in this as well. <P> Saying no more, but i have read one of the scripts, not sure which episode it was though. <P> Ta ta

  • June 11, 2008, 7:15 a.m. CST


    by Anakin Whoopass

    That's right buddy, you show that turd who's boss.

  • June 11, 2008, 7:17 a.m. CST


    by SKULL1138

    I acn confirm the Namibian african location is spot on, I forget name of town, but you can probably find pictures of it on google or something I have seen the location, so they have that bang on. No idea if McKelln is correct, but as I said they will change every episode, this is a definite, but they dont wnat to tell people this yet, so probably be lots of star cameos in this role, McKellen may just be one of them?

  • June 11, 2008, 10:52 a.m. CST

    McGoohan needs to be involved.

    by Uncapie

    He's the brains behind the series. "Reimagining" this series is total bullshit.

  • June 11, 2008, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Agreed this is nothing without...

    by tomdolan04

    McGoohan. Nothing. He was the creative tour de force behind this and pressured Lew Grade during the 60's to make this happen. <p> If it were upto the networks of the time he would have been Dangerman for decades, unmasking the James Bond style 'Number 1's' that the Prisoner's climax was the antithesis of.

  • June 11, 2008, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Anyone else read the comic from 20 years back?

    by DennisMM

    A CIA agent who had walked away from the Company much as the Prisoner had done was shipwrecked on the beach while sailing a yacht around the world. When she woke she was facing the egg-chair, occupant in deep shadow. She asked where she was. The Village, the she was told. And you, said John Drake - leaning forward from the shadows, gray haired and long-bearded - you are Number Six. It went badly downhill after that, but it was interesting.

  • June 11, 2008, 1:34 p.m. CST

    DennisMM...i have the comic

    by bacci40

    and while uneven, it wasnt that bad

  • June 11, 2008, 3:39 p.m. CST


    by DennisMM

    I like the interpretation suggested by the comic - when The Prisoner chose to be Number 1, he compromised his own principles. No matter that he chose to be the leader, he still made himself a number. The end of the episode showed us his fantasy escape. Of course, there's also the interpretation that it's not Number One or even Number 1. Rather, it's Number I - "I" and The Prisoner asserts his identity rather than loses it.

  • June 11, 2008, 3:54 p.m. CST

    God forbid

    by WickedChicken37

    Someone comes up with a new idea. Oh I know lets remake Happy Days or Murder She Wrote. How about a remake of Green Acers? Or even a remake of Matt Houston. Can we get three different productions of Alice, Good Times and One Day at a Time going?

  • June 11, 2008, 10:32 p.m. CST


    by Pizza The Hut

    Exactly... Does Hollywood have even one brain among them anymore? How many variations of Law & Order and CSI do we need? ...not to mention Dateline and prime time 1 million dollar game shows?

  • June 11, 2008, 11:39 p.m. CST

    when they remake the godfather

    by bacci40

    with labouf as gonna kill myself...seriously...a bullet to the brain

  • June 12, 2008, 2:13 p.m. CST

    bacci40 and laserpants

    by one9deuce

    Concerning the ending I think your both seeing something that isn't there. Patrick McGoohan himself says they didn't know how to end it. Well, obviously. <p> And "all in his mind" is the WEAKEST story device in the history of literature/cinema.

  • June 13, 2008, 6:43 a.m. CST

    Christopher Eccleston

    by EyeofPolyphemus

    Eccleston would have made a better Number Six.

  • June 13, 2008, 9:29 a.m. CST


    by SKULL1138

    They tried to get him, he knocked it back, dont know why. <P> Also lets remember that JC is not confirmed thats a rumour that we cant verify right now, all the others pretty much can be verified. Not saying its false, I just dont know

  • June 19, 2008, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Daniel Craig would be awesome and it would fit

    by CrichtonAstronut

    too. Like McGoohan as Danger Man before the Prisoner. Spy, then imprisoned ex-spy. And Daniel Craig's the new Bond. It'd work.

  • June 19, 2008, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Anyone remember that Invisible Man episode

    by CrichtonAstronut

    homage to the Prisoner, with their version of the Village as a retirement community for spies wo knew too much. and it included a nod to the Avengers.