Not Even Christopher Nolan Could Crack One Famed Remake That Would Have Been His First Attempt at James Bond-Style Franchise

Christopher Nolan is unsure about his plans to recreate 1967's The Prisoner.

Not Even Christopher Nolan Could Crack One Famed Remake That Would Have Been His First Attempt at James Bond-Style Franchise


  • Christopher Nolan announced in 2006 his intention to recreate The Prisoner (1967).
  • The director dropped the project after the 2009 miniseries failed to perform.
  • Nolan still could not figure out how to "crack" the remake of the '60s show.
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Christopher Nolan boarded the remake project of Patrick McGoohan’s 1967 show The Prisoner in 2006. He intended to commence production after wrapping up The Dark Knight. The director was also very pleased with David Webb Peoples’ script.

the prisoner 1967 christopher nolan
The Prisoner (1967)

Unfortunately, Nolan’s opportunity to recreate the famed British show was botched after a 2009 miniseries was released starring Ian McKellen and Jim Caviezel. Fans did not show enough enthusiasm about it, and because of this, Nolan knew better it was time to move on.

RELATED: “Chris didn’t actually come to me with this”: Christian Bale Was Concerned Christopher Nolan Wouldn’t Cast Him as Anything Other Than Batman


Christopher Nolan Lost His Chance At Recreating The Prisoner

Christopher Nolan resolved to shelve his planned remake of The Prisoner at Universal and decided to work on the science fiction thriller Inception at Warner Bros instead. The lukewarm response of the viewers to the 2009 miniseries warned the director how his attempt at recreating it might hurt his career.

Producer Barry Mendel spoke with CineFools and revealed the news that Nolan has dropped The Prisoner project. Still, the plan to revive the franchise is very much considered. He said via Digital Spy:

Chris Nolan has dropped out of it, but we have a first draft by David and Janet Peoples, who wrote Twelve Monkeys, and David wrote Unforgiven, and it’s a good draft, and we’re working on the script right now.”

the prisoner 2009
The Prisoner (2009)

Mendel noted at the time that the feature film will be totally different from the miniseries:


This looks and feels so different that the tenants of the show are apparent, but the execution of it is so different that I think it is unrecognizable, whereas the TV show is a well done, modernly shot updated version of the original show, but much more faithful to the original show.”

Lastly, the producer made a reference to the 1998 spy action comedy film The Avengers which was huge a box office disaster:

If the series was wildly popular that might effect us, but the screenplay that David and Janet wrote was such a re-imagination of the series, if you think of The Avengers that wasn’t a commercially successful film, but it was very much in the spirit of the original show.”

The remake would have been Nolan’s chance at making a James Bond-style movie. Though, seeing the initial reaction from fans and knowing his filmmaking style does not really match the vibe of the ‘60s show, it was probably best that he dropped the project.

RELATED: Jim Caviezel’s Forgotten TV Series Made Universal Millions After Christopher Nolan Failed To Make A Film Adaptation


Christopher Nolan Is Unsure About His Plans For The Prisoner Remake

the prisoner 1967-2
The Prisoner (1967)

During Christopher Nolan’s appearance at Happy Sad Confused podcast, the filmmaker was asked if he ever had plans to go back to his unmade The Prisoner movie. He admitted he had not yet “cracked it,” stating:

I wouldn’t wanna say anything about what I’m gonna do next… because the truth is I haven’t figured it out.”

Despite confessing in a previous interview that he has already figured out how to tackle and approach the project, and that it was something he had always wanted to do for a long time, Nolan was quite unsure now.

Well, there could have been a lot of factors that made him want to reevaluate his decision whether it is a wise idea to pick it up again or just let it go altogether.


RELATED: “I’ve been plundering ruthlessly”: Christopher Nolan Was Puzzled After Accused of Copying James Bond for His One Movie Despite Claiming He’s Done It Before

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Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 2277

Ariane Cruz, Senior Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about the latest movies and series. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.