EXCLUSIVE: Hayley Atwell Takes Number, Joins ‘Prisoner’ Remake

It’s one of the most beloved cult television shows of all time, and it’s about to get a high-profile remake. Now, “The Prisoner” miniseries has a new lead actress.

“I’m about to go to Namibia to shoot ’The Prisoner’ with Ian McKellan and Jim Caviezel,” revealed 27-year-old British beauty Hayley Atwell to MTV on Monday. “It’s a remake of a very strange 1960’s cult sci-fi classic with Patrick McGoohan.”

For those of you who aren’t down with Number Six, “Prisoner” told the story of a former British secret agent held captive in a mysterious village, as authorities tried to break his will. The trippy storylines often included hallucinations, mind control, and a lot of references to “hooks” and “crooks.”

“It’s [about] this guy who gets taken into this village and everyone’s got a number, not a name,” explained the actress, who releases “Brideshead Revisited” with Matthew Goode later this month. “And it’s about how he finds his way back, and what the village is. It’s very ambiguous but completely different. I don’t wear a corset in it, finally, in my career.”

The miniseries will be released next year and is not to be confused with Christopher Nolan’s intended bigscreen remake of the same property, which it will most certainly beat to release. “[The miniseries is set] now, but kind of timeless,” she said of the remake, which will deal with post-9/11 security concerns, much like the original show referenced the Cold War. “It’s like a parallel universe. It’s a bit weird and sci-fi-ish, but it’s kind of now.”

“It’s a six-part television series,” she added. “[My character] is the love interest, but it also is someone who is working for a very important corporation. And she’s not what she seems … She turns up in the village blind, and with a number. And you don’t know whether it’s a joke, or if she’s in a parallel world.”

Asked whether she’ll be blind for the entire series, Atwell cryptically explained: “She’s in a parallel world, and it’s actually a different part of her. It’s very ambiguous, very interesting.”

We’d expect nothing less from a “Prisoner” incarnation that features Caviezel as Number Six, and McKellan as the village overseer known as Number Two. Now, all the British actress has to do is learn how to pretend like she’s from the U.S. of A.

“I’ve got an American accent to do,” she added, saying she wasn’t sure whether it would be Southern, New Yawk-ish or otherwise. “I haven’t decided yet,” she laughed. “It’s whatever I can do.”

Are you more excited about this “Prisoner” remake, the Nolan film, or do you think the series should be left alone?