Alex Rider Cast and Crew Preview IMDB TV Spy Drama

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Alex Rider is finally premiering in the U.S.

The hit adaptation of the Anthony Horowitz novel series launches on IMDB TV on Friday, November 13. 

We got to speak with Horowitz and cast members Otto Farrant, Brenock O'Connor, and Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo about the series. 


This is not Alex Rider's first foray in front of the screen, with the original novel, Stormbreaker, being adapted into a movie starring Alex Pettyfer. 

But the series is not picking up from the original novel. Instead, Point Blanc is the jumping-off point for the series. 

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"It was a decision made by the producers and myself from the very start because Stormbreaker would have already been covered," said Horowitz. 

"It was sensible to keep moving forward. We did, however, add some of the original material from Stormbreaker back the series. We had to explain how Alex became a spy."

"We did so in a little bit of that in, but the whole idea from the very beginning was always let's keep going, and let's move forward."

When asked about what worked by telling the novel over a longer arc, Horowitz said the following:

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"It's an interesting question because, of course, eight forty-six minutes is actually an awful lot of drama, but it allowed us to do certain things to really investigate Alex's character, his friendship with Tom Harris played by Brenda Connor, his relationship to Jack, his housekeeper."

When it came to casting Alex Rider, Horowitz did not have any names in mind for the roles. 

"We had kids sending in audition and stuff on just on their iPhone, sending it through the internet."

"And we did look at every single one of those and some of those kids got called in to audition in person as well."

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"But at the end of the day, it was a long, long process," he added. 

Ultimately, Otto Farrant landed the role of Alex.

"I read these books when I was a kid, so I knew the character," Farrant shared. 

"I knew the books and the opportunity to play that character, step into those shoes was one that I couldn't pass up."

"I also felt that Alex has so many different sides to him."

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"He's a multidimensional character. He's a normal kid, he's a sensitive kid, but he's also steely and determined and he's a super-spy and I'd never had the chance to play someone who had both those things as the sort of balancing act."

"It was real fun to try and navigate that world. Yeah. I'm trying to be a normal kid, but also in an adult world and having to save the world. It was fun."

Taking on such a big role comes with hurdles, but taking on a high-stakes role as a super-spy was daunting for Farrant at first. 

"The books have sold millions of copies around the world and it was daunting in a sense that you're stepping into this iconic character's shoes, but also having to find it within myself, to learn, learn about myself in a different way, and to take on these skillsets and, and jump in headfirst into all these different scenarios."

Two Pals on Alex Rider

"I found that I really enjoyed it. So it was a good learning experience in that way."

Brenock and Ronke were drawn to their respective roles for very different reasons. 

Like Farrant, O'Connor was a fan of the books growing up, while Ronke's younger brother was an avid fan of them. 

"I was drawn to the project because my little brother, younger brother, he's not little, he's a giant," she said.

"He had read all the books in his youth and he just told me how amazing it was. And he was stoked when I told him I had an audition. So imagine when I told him I got the part.


"He was like, 'this is it.'"

Brenock and Ronke are no stranger to adaptations. Brenock starred on HBO's Game of Thrones, while Ronke starred on Ready Player One. I asked them both about whether they think adaptations are tougher because fans know the world already and have certain expectations. 

"I see it as a gift, really to come in onto a project because if you've got a completely original project, you've got to do all the groundwork to get anyone to pay attention because you could easily make something that is brilliant and no one wants to pay attention and it just slips away," said Brenock.

"So the idea of signing up to something that has already been running for 20 years and has sold millions of copies, like that's a guaranteed audience that will at least tune in for episode one."

"The pressure we have is to make the show worthy of the fan base that we've already got just from the books."

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"That's very true. Brenock said it perfectly," added Ronke.

"I mean, reading books and then seeing them on screen, each individual person creates this whole landscape and everyone looks different in their head."

"So when we try and bring it to screen and we offer them an alternate version, we kind of hope it's a version that they really, really can enjoy."

All eight episodes of Alex Rider Season 1 premiere on IMDB TV Friday, November 13. 

The service is ad-supported, so you can watch for free!

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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