Oscar winner Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) is set to produce and star in a remake of the 1981 revenge movie The Amateur that James Hawes (Black Mirror) will direct for 20th Century Studios, Above the Line has learned.
The original Canadian crime thriller starred John Savage as CIA agent Charles Heller, who decides to hunt down the terrorist group responsible for his wife’s death. However, he is only a code specialist without any combat expertise, and he does not have agency permission. Using classified information, Heller blackmails the CIA into training him and sending him overseas to find the killers himself — though once he arrives, he discovers that he may have been their intended target.
The setup for the new film is similar, as Malek will play a brilliant but introverted CIA cryptographer whose wife is killed in the collateral damage of a London terrorist attack, and whose agency bosses won’t do anything to bring her killers to justice due to conflicting internal priorities and political sensitivities. Thus, he takes matters into his own hands…
Christopher Plummer co-starred in the original film, which Charles Jarrott directed from a script by Robert Littell and Diana Maddox. Since the film was largely filmed in Canada, it ended up being nominated for 10 Genie Awards, indicating that this story is a little bit more complex than your standard revenge thriller.
Malek won an Oscar for playing Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, which grossed $910 million worldwide. Since then, the Emmy-winning Mr. Robot star has played the villain in the James Bond movie No Time to Die and shared the screen with fellow Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Jared Leto (The Little Things) as well as Christian Bale and Robert De Niro (Amsterdam). He will soon be seen in Christopher Nolan‘s star-studded drama Oppenheimer, which hits theaters this summer. Malek is represented by WME, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern, and the Lede Company.
One of the leading directors in the UK, Hawes’ TV credits include The Alienist, Black Mirror, Doctor Who (including the show’s first-ever Christmas special), Penny Dreadful, Raised by Wolves, and Snowpiercer, and he also directed Season 1 of Slow Horses for Apple TV+. He recently made his feature directorial debut with the World War II drama One Life, which stars two-time Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins as British humanitarian Nicholas Winton, who helped save hundreds of children from the Nazis on the eve of WWII. Johnny Flynn co-stars as the younger version of the character. The two of them are joined by Helena Bonham Carter, Jonathan Pryce, Lena Olin, and veteran actress Marthe Keller, who coincidentally starred in the original version of The Amateur. Hawes, who is one of only four directors to have helmed multiple episodes of Black Mirror, is repped by CAA and 42.