The BAFTA-winning, British action spy drama "Spooks" (aka. "MI-5") is coming to the big screen with the new film "Spooks: The Greater Good".
Bharat Nalluri will helm the feature which will shoot in the first quarter of 2014. Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent have penned the script, while Jane Featherstone and Stephen Garrett are set to produce - much of the same team behind the final two seasons.
Running for 86 episodes from 2002-2011, the original series followed the officers of the British Security Service, MI5, who race to stop threats to national security be they religious extremists, suicide bombers, arms dealers, foreign governments and corruption within their own ranks.
The show's handling of terrorism has sometimes come under fire, mostly for its either relatively plausible or potentially incendiary takes on certain topical scenarios (a "thinking man's '24'" is the description sometimes used). A torture scene involving a woman's face being held down into a deep fryer in the second episode famously drew a lot of complaints
The series also became famous for killing off its characters, including it leads, at random times which added genuine suspense to the life & death action, and kept the cast fresh. Peter Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, David Oyelowo, Richard Armitage, Hugh Laurie, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Lara Pulver, Rupert Penry-Jones, Iain Glen, Keeley Hawes and Sophia Myles were all regulars or recurring cast members at one point or another.
The film version sounds like it's starting afresh somewhat so newcomers to the franchise can hop onboard. The action begins when a terrorist escapes from MI5 custody during a routine handover, leaving counterterrorism director Harry Pearce (Firth) saddled with the blame.
Soon after, when Pearce disappears off a bridge into the Thames, his new protégé Will Crombie is called in to help uncover what happened.
With a devastating attack on London imminent, Will finds himself on the trail of a conspiracy that stretches from Vietnam to the Mediterranean. Additional casting is being locked in.
No word yet if surviving regulars at the end of the last season - Max Brown (Demitri Levendis), Lara Pulver (Erin Watts), Geoffrey Streatfield (Calum Reed) or Simon Russell Beale (Home Secretary William Towers) - will return.
Altitude Film Sales is selling the project around at next week's AFM. All ten seasons are currently available to watch on Netflix (under the title "MI-5" in the U.S.).