Eddie Redmayne will star in a new series adaptation of Frederick Forsyth’s The Day of the Jackal, Deadline reports.
Forsyth’s 1971 thriller, originally published in the U.S. by Viking, follows the Jackal, a hitman who agrees to assassinate Charles de Gaulle, the president of France, after taking the job from a paramilitary group. A critic for Kirkus called the book “a paraprocedural documentary which you can read at 140 kilometers per hour, and it will be hurried along by the [Book of the Month Club] and attendant promotion to assumed success.”
The reviewer was correct about the last part. The novel was a huge hit in both the U.S. and Britain, and it formed the basis of a 1973 film starring Edward Fox, Alan Badel, and Tony Britton. The movie was also a hit, scoring two Golden Globe nominations as well as an Oscar nod.
Redmayne (The Theory of Everything, The Danish Girl) will play the Jackal in the new series, which will stream on Peacock in the U.S. The show will be written by Ronan Bennett, known for his work on the series Top Boy, and directed by Brian Kirk (Great Expectations, Penny Dreadful). Redmayne is among the series’ executive producers, with Forsyth serving as consulting producer.
Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.