Slated to premiere next week, AT&T Audience Network’s upcoming thriller Condor is inspired by Paramount and Sydney Pollack’s Three Days of the Condor. The 1975 political thriller starred Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson and Max von Sydow.
Updating the story for a modern audience, the 10-episode TV series stars Max Irons as young CIA analyst Joe Turner who accidentally discovers a frightening and far-reaching conspiracy that gets his office killed, and forces him to go on the run while the lives of millions of people is threatened. Condor also features an awesome cast in William Hurt, Mira Sorvino, Leem Lubany, Bob Balaban and Brendan Fraser.
SYFY WIRE’s Tara Bennett had the occasion to sit with writer/producers Jason Smilovic and Todd Katzberg who opened up about the challenges of turning a seminal spy film into a series.
“We really, at first, when the call came, we said to each other ‘no,’” Smilovic told us. “Because when you’re dealing with an iconic piece of material that has such a large fan base your fear is that you can only disappoint people and it’s a perfect film. So, why does it need to be redone? And the more that we went back to the film and re-watched it, and the more we thought about it, the more we realized that there was a whole story that was going on beyond the edges of the frame that was ripe for exploration. There are all these great characters that a movie doesn’t have time to deal with in two hours that we could really give life to. And also the movie correctly predicts the future and, you know, there’s that prophetic element to it and so we started to talk to each other about what could the next kind of paranoid conspiracy be and so the show is an outgrowth of that.”
“It seems suddenly as though there was a real convergence between the paranoid time of the mid-seventies, the post-Watergate era, and our current cultural moment which has only become more so of course in the years since we’ve started on this show,” Katzberg added.
When asked if there was something thematically that they didn’t have to change too much in terms of the tone and tenor of the show, Katzberg said: “The themes are so universal, from a thematic point of view, there was very little that we had to change. The challenge was trying to find the events that — you know, what Jason said, the movie really predicted the future and so our biggest challenge was 'well what is gonna be the big event at the center of this show that seems so far-fetched in the moment but that ten years from now might seem a little less so.'”
The showrunners also talked about discussing Fraser’s villainous character of Nathan Fowler over Skype for over two hours — which ultimately led to some changes — and revealed what was the first thing they geeked out about. To find out the answers, check out our exclusive interview either above, or below.
Condor premieres June 6 on AT&T's Audience Network.
Additional material by Nathalie Caron.