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Park Chan-wook’s The Little Drummer Girl wraps shooting in Greece

As seen in Cineuropa

Published: 07 Jun 2018

The filmmakers secured scenes at the Acropolis of Athens.

The British-US TV co-production The Little Drummer Girl has wrapped shooting in Greece after 24 days. Directed by acclaimed South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook (Old BoyThe Handmaiden) in his first attempt at making television, the six-part miniseries is an adaptation of John le Carré’s best-selling 1980s spy novel. The series is being produced by the UK’s The Ink Factory with the BBC and AMC.

Set in the late 1970s and blending some of le Carré’s most characteristic elements, the series teeters between a spy-thriller and a love story. The Little Drummer Girlfollows young actress Charlie, portrayed by BAFTA nominee Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth), who, while visiting Greece on holidays, meets an intriguing stranger, Becker (Alexander Skarsgård). Despite their pleasant initial encounter, it becomes evident that Becker’s intentions are far from romantic, as he is an Israeli intelligence officer. Charlie will be entangled in a complex and perplexing plot orchestrated by spymaster Kurtz (Michael Shannon).

The production of the series was initially put in jeopardy as it started in April, as Greece’s Central Archaeological Council denied the team permission to shoot at historical locations. Nevertheless, these obstacles were overcome through the support that the Hellenic Film Commission of the Greek Film Centre offered the project, making it one of the most prestigious recent international productions to have been filmed in Greece.

Park said: “It has been an incredible experience to film The Little Drummer Girlin the very locations described in John le Carré’s book. The immense privilege of shooting at such historically and culturally important places as the Acropolis or the Temple of Poseidon cannot be overstated. Greece, as the birthplace of Western drama, offers filmmakers a canvas of unique resonance, and for me, it is the perfect place to tell the story of Charlie.”

Greece’s Faliro House Productions SA handled the local production services, and Simon Cornwell, co-CEO at The Ink Factory, remarked: “We were able to shoot not only extraordinary scenes set in Greece, but also scenes set in Lebanon, Israel, Yugoslavia (as it was then) and Rome. The stunning locations we were able to choose would have justified coming to Greece under almost any circumstances, but on top of that, the generous support of numerous arms of government, plus the highly talented crew and support team at our wonderful partners Faliro House, has made the shoot one to remember and repeat.”

Independent studio The Ink Factory (Stephen Cornwell and Simon Cornwell) was also behind the recent John le Carré adaptations A Most Wanted Man by Anton Corbijn and The Night Manager, which was also co-produced with 127 Wall Productions, the BBC and AMC. The new series is slated to air in the autumn on BBC One in the UK and on AMC in the USA, and it is being sold worldwide by Endeavor Content.