"I am not a number, I am a free man!"

Number 6: Where am I?
Number 2: In the Village.
Number 6: What do you want?
Number 2: We want information.
Number 6: Whose side are you on?
Number 2: That would be telling. We want information… information… information.
Number 6: You won’t get it.
Number 2: By hook or by crook, we will.
Number 6: Who are you?
Number 2: The new Number 2.
Number 6: Who is Number 1?
Number 2: You are Number 6.
Number 6: I am not a number, I am a free man
.

Until 1984, I had no knowledge of The Prisoner. At that time, Iron Maiden, on their Number of the Beast album, did a song called “The Prisoner.” The song had the above dialogue (Well, most of it, the skipped the “whose side…that would be telling..and whatnot) and I made a point of learning a little something about the British series that had become a cult classic in the U.S.

AMC has acquired the television rights to the classic British series, The Prisoner, and have announced the two leads.

Ian McKellen (Gods and Monsters, Lord of the Rings) will play Number Two, with Jim Caviezel (Passion of the Christ) is the new Number Six.

“Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen bring an incredible level of talent to the project, and we’re honored they are taking on these important roles. We look forward to this production revitalizing a classic and bringing Patrick McGoohan’s brilliant and captivating story to an entirely new generation of viewers,” stated Charlie Collier, AMC’s general manager and executive vice president.

A government agent (Jim Caviezel) is kidnapped shortly after resigning his post. He awakens to find himself on a strange island known as The Village. Everyone in the Village has a number for name, as he is now called Number Six. While his captors work to break him, Number Six struggles to not only escape, but maintain his sanity.

Number Six spent the bulk of the original series trying to escape from The Village. Number Two seemingly runs the Village and often interrogates Six.

The new version will be written by Bill Gallagher. Gallagher regularly wrote for Lark Rise to Candleford and Conviction, as well as having written episodes of Maigret and Dalziel and Pascoe.

“Bill Gallagher’s new version of The Prisoner is an enthralling commentary on modern culture. It is witty, intelligent and disturbing. I am very excited to be involved,” said Ian McKellan.

The plan is to start shooting later this year, with the series likely airing next summer.

By the time it reaches television, there may be a second update of The Prisoner on the way.

Christopher Nolan owns the film rights, and is planning to film it using a screenplay from David and Janet Peoples. They previously wrote the twisted Twelve Monkeys.

Last thing I had heard, he was plannign to shoot it after The Dark Knight. But, that info is about a year old and that is a lifetime in Hollywood.