New Projects: ‘Turks & Caicos’ and ‘Salting the Battlefield’

While James Bond takes a break, Bill Nighy and Helena Bonham Carter have been recruited to fill the spy void, according to the Daily Mail. The two will play MI5 agents in back-to-back thrillers created by David Hare for BBC TV that will also star Hollywood players Winona Ryder and Christopher Walken.

They will appear in the second and third parts of Hare’s Worricker trilogy, which features Nighy as Johnny Worricker, last seen with Rachel Weisz in the first instalment, Page Eight, two years ago. In that programme, Nighy’s Worricker uncovered secret documents that detailed the CIA’s involvement in illegal prisons around the world and how the slippery British Prime Minister — played by Ralph Fiennes — knew about them.

The two new films are called Turks & Caicos and Salting the Battlefield. Shooting will start in the Turks & Caicos, the tax-haven islands an hour from Miami, later this month. Filming on both dramas will continue in London, and conclude in Germany in late July; though there will be some brief additional filming in September.

He explained that in Turks & Caicos, the jazz-loving Worricker is in exile, pursuing some of the people involved in the events of Page Eight. ‘The islands are part of this alternative economy, where so much of the world’s wealth is hidden away, and a group of people have opted out of pathetic obligations such as paying tax.’

Helena will play a former MI5 agent in both films, with Winona as a high-powered PR in the Turks & Caicos part of the trilogy.

Hare, who will direct both thrillers, refused to divulge which woman is the femme fatale. ‘You’ll have to wait and see,’ he said. He did, though, let slip that Walken would play a CIA agent.

UPDATE: The List has just released small synopsis’ of the two films and stated that the character Margot Tyrrell, an ex-girlfriend of Bill Nighy’s character, appears heavily in both films. As Helena is the only female actor to be starring in both films, I think it is safe to assume this will be her character. The synopsis’ are as follows:

Turks & Caicos sees Nighy’s character having walked out of MI5 and heading out to a random destination. However, his presence on the Turks & Caicos islands lead him to be forced by the CIA to deal with an “ambiguous” group of Americans who are attending a conference on the global financial crisis. At the same time, Margot Tyrrell, an old girlfriend of his is asked to betray her London boss in order to establish an illicit connection between the prime minister and dark goings-on in the war on terror.

Salting the Battlefield sees Johnny and Margot on the run across Europe and battling with the difficulties of life in exile, prompting the former spy to realise he needs to return home to confront Prime Minister Alec Beasley.

Birthday Project 2013

You may have already seen it on Tumblr, but just in case you haven’t: Daniella is organising a fan book for Helena’s birthday this year! If you would like to take part, you can read the guidelines here. All entries should be sent to (please don’t send them to myself or Jamie – it’s not us this year!).

The deadline for getting your entries in is 12th May.

Helena goes red in ‘The Lone Ranger’

Helena Bonham Carter has portrayed many red-haired character before — but never quite as deeply as her Red Harrington in The Lone Ranger, according to her new interview with USA Today.

“I’ve always wanted to have that kind of fake-looking red hair, I’ve never gone this red before,” says Bonham Carter of this exclusive reveal of her character poster. “It’s couldn’t be redder, chili-pepper red.”

Bonham Carter is putting a dash more wild into the Wild West and she has plenty of help with her co-stars Armie Hammer, playing the Lone Ranger, and Johnny Depp, as Tonto, in the film opening July 3. The original Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer are also on the project.

Despite the wild look, Bonham Carter says the crazier stuff is not pictured. Her brothel-owning Red Harrington packs an ornate ivory peg-leg with a deadly surprise.

“It has a double-barrel shotgun in it,” says Bonham Carter. “It’s a prop like I’ve never had before. That should be next month’s poster, the leg. It’s beautiful. So my bottom half is even more interesting. Any woman who runs her own business in the wild, wild West has to be a pretty strong character.”

Harrington protects her brothel employees from rowdy customers by putting signs up saying “Any bad behaviour and you will be shot” and backing it up. She agrees to help the Lone Ranger and Tonto hunt down a ruthless gang for her own personal revenge against the gang.

In her first movie involving sharp-shooting (and leg-shooting). Bonham Carter found that she is a very good shot — something she missed out on during her Merchant-Ivory early film days.

“I have good hand-eye coordination,” she says. “It was like, darn, I should have done this earlier.”

But one thing Bonham Carter will not miss out on now — new dream roles involving wild red hair.

“I have always wanted to play Pippi Longstocking,” says Bonham Carter of the famed red-hair literary character. “Maybe I will play her all grown-up. I would love that.”