Los Angeles - Dame Helen Mirren is set to return to TV drama for the first time in 10 years.
The 71-year-old actress - who previously played police detective Jane Tennison in seven seasons of Prime Suspect until 2006 - is in talks to star alongside Colin Firth in an adaptation of Charles Cumming's Thomas Kell spy novels as the head of MI6.
A source told The Sun newspaper: ''Helen is interested in playing the role as it's a key character that just doesn't sit around in an office.
''The books are great and Colin has been interested in them for years since he read the first one.
''Since The Night Manager TV bosses have been desperate to get their hands on the next big British spy drama because it was so successful around the world.
''Getting such a high profile and well-loved actress like Helen on board is a real coup.''
The series would see Helen's character, Amelia Levene, cause panic when she goes missing, with disgraced veteran spy Kell - who will be played by Colin - drafted in to track her across Europe.
The King's Speech actor will also produce the series, having bought the TV rights to the books, while novelist Cumming is penning a pilot for the six-part series, which is due to air next year.
ITV are said to be hoping to buy the rights to the saga.
The veteran actress can next be seen in Fast 8, the latest instalment of the action franchise and recently admitted she is ''very nervous'' about starring opposite recurring stars such as Vin Diesel, 49, Michelle Rodriguez, 38, and Jason Statham, 49.
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