Ben Stiller, Cate Blanchett to star in ‘The Champions’ adaptation

The movie will honour the original espionage series that was created by Dennis Spooner for British network ITV in 1968

Actor-filmmaker Ben Stiller will direct and star along with Oscar winner Cate Blanchett in the big-screen take on the 1960s British series “The Champions”.

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As per Variety, the movie will honour the original espionage series that was created by Dennis Spooner for British network ITV in 1968.

It follows three United Nations agents whose plane crashes into the Himalayas. Upon being rescued by an advanced civilisation secretly living in Tibet, they are granted enhanced intellectual and physical abilities. When the agents return to the outside world, they use their new superhuman abilities to become champions of law, order and justice.

Besides acting in and directing the movie, Stiller will produce the project through his Red Hour Productions alongside Blanchett and her company Dirty Films.

ITV Studios America and New Republic Pictures are also on board as producers.

“’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,” Blanchett said.

“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,” she added.

Stiller said he is looking forward to working with Blanchett as he has been a fan of her work.

“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,” he said.

Stiller is currently working on the Apple TV Plus’ workplace thriller series “Severance”, starring Adam Scott, Patricia Arquette, Britt Lower, John Turturro, and Christopher Walken.

He is also attached to direct Focus Features’ “Bag Man” and “London”, an adaptation of Jo Nesbo’s short story, starring Oscar Isaac.

Blanchett recently finished shooting for Eli Roth’s “Borderlands” and is now working on Todd Field-directed feature “Tar”.

She will next star in Guillermo Del Toro’s movie “Nightmare Alley” as well as two Netflix projects — “Pinocchio” and Adam McKay’s film “Don’t Look Up”.

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