Netflix continues its acquisitions of ambitious IPs that are paired with large casts and crew members. Netflix has now landed The 39 Steps. It will feature Benedict Cumberbatch. This series was available for purchase by Netflix in February 2021. Netflix’s The 39 Steps has a very impressive crew, which will most certainly result in a quality product.
First, Emmy-nominated Edward Berger will direct the series. He directed Cumberbatch in the acclaimed series Patrick Melrose. Also, he is directing All Quite On the Western Front, a World War I Netflix drama.
Mark L. Smith will write the script for The 39 Steps. He is most well-known for writing the screenplays for The Revenant and The Midnight Sky, along with the Quentin Tarantino Star Trek movie.
Cumberbatch and Adam Ackland will produce limited series under the SunnyMarch banner. (Patrick Melrose - The Mauritanian). Smith and Berger, along with Sophie Gardiner and Cliff Roberts, will serve as executive producers for Chapter One Pictures and Syndicate Entertainment. Keith Redmon is responsible for Anonymous Content (Spotlight. The Revenant. Outlaw King).
Abi Bach will serve as producer.
Netflix’s The 39 Steps is the latest of many adaptations of Scottish author John Buchan’s 1915 adventure novel of the same name. The novel was first adapted by Alfred Hitchcock, in 1935. Later, there were several films, in 1978, 1959 and 2008. The Story Mechanics, a Scottish developer of video games, also adapted the book into a game in 2013.
This is a summary of the 1915 novel.
Richard Hannay gets thrown into an international drama. He receives a frantic visit from a stranger, an American named Franklin P. Scudder. Scudder tells him of a plot by the Germans to assassinate the Greek Premier, Constantine Karolides, during an upcoming visit to London. Scudder, who is a freelance spy, writes all the details of the plot in code in a black notebook. Scudder asks to hide in Richard’s apartment.
Four days later Richard has to run for his life. He returns home to find his apartment has been ransacked and Scudder’s body—he has been stabbed to death—planted there. Richard, who realizes he looks guilty, is forced to go on the lam to escape both the police and the people who killed Scudder. He also feels obliged to prevent the Greek Premier’s assassination.
The Netflix adaptation will be a modern update of the story with the events happening in our day, much like BBC’s Sherlock which also starred Cumberbatch and made him a superstar. To keep up with the current times, names and locations will likely be altered.
Here is the official logline for Netflix’s The 39 Steps:
The 39 Steps is a provocative, action-packed conspiracy thriller series that updates the classic novel for our times. An ordinary man, Richard Hannay (Benedict Cumberbatch), becomes an unwitting pawn in a vast, global conspiracy to reset the world order: 39 Steps that will change the world as we know it, with only Hannay standing in the way.
Only Benedict Cumberbatch is the leading man in The 39 Steps as of April 2021. Cumberbatch will portray Richard Hannay who is a victim to a massive conspiracy against his will. This is his description:
From the outside, Richard is a patriotic man putting the interests of his country ahead of his own safety. He is brave, daring, and calm under pressure. He is skilled at becoming another person by changing his accent or donning a disguise. His character is a combination of Sherlock Holmes and James Bond.
Deadline reports that Netflix’s The 39 Steps will have at least “six or more” one-hour episodes, though for big-budget limited series such as this, we don’t really expect the episode count to go higher than 8. However, we are certain that Netflix will renew the series for additional seasons if it is successful. The source material would allow this as well since Benedict Cumberbatch’s Richard Hannay appears in four more novels after The 39 Steps.
Current Production Status: Development (Last Updated: April 11, 2020)
According to Deadline, production for Netflix’s The 39 Steps is expected to start in 2022 in Europe. Both Edward Berger and Benedict Cumberbatch are currently busy for 2021. Cumberbatch currently films Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness, while Edward Berger is in Europe shooting All Quite on Western Front.
According to reports, the series entered preproduction in July 2021. Since then, we’ve got word that Chapter One Pictures are eying a May 2022 start date for filming in London.
Considering a 2022 production start, we wouldn’t expect a release date anytime soon. The most probable release date is 2023 at this time.
Notice: The preview was published for the first time in April 2021. It has since been updated to include new information.This adaptation of the classic novel will feature
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