Most TV series that air on the British TV channel ITV fly under the radar as basic fodder for the schedule, including daytime comedies and throwaway game shows. Back in 1960, however, they were responsible for the cult success of The Champions, a series following three secret agents played by Alexandra Bastedo, William Gaunt and Stuart Damon, a concept that will soon be adapted into a film starring Ben Stiller and Cate Blanchett.
An idea that Guillermo del Toro had previously voiced an interest in adapting, the series follows a codebreaker Richard Barrett, pilot Craig Stirling, and scientist Sharon Macready who crashland on a deserted island. Awakening, they discover an ancient civilisation has gifted them untold powers including superhuman recovery, increased speed, strength and endurance.
Australian actor Cate Blanchett will appear in the lead cast of characters, telling Deadline: “Champions is a long-forgotten gem that will excite a new generation in the same strange and magnificent way that the original series spoke to us”.
Continuing, she told the publication, “I’ve long wanted to work with Ben — the director and the actor. He is one of the most engaged and versatile directors working today. Anyone who can make both Zoolander and Escape At Dannemora is a creative force to be reckoned with”.
Ben Stiller, the star of While We’re Young directed by Noah Baumbach, also joked to Deadline: “I’m a huge fan of Cate’s for a very long time. I’m hoping this project will help people to finally take her seriously as an actress”.
Before then, Blanchett will appear in Don’t Look Up for Netflix, appearing alongside the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Ariana Grande, Timothée Chalamet, Matthew Perry, Chris Evans and Meryl Streep, in the comedy directed by Adam McKay. Take a look at the trailer for the star-studded film, below.