Agatha Christie's Miss Marple to Be Adapted Into South Korean TV Series

"Murder on the Orient Express" (1974)
Paramount Pictures

Lumet (at right) on the set with Albert Finney and Lauren Bacall.

Good Production will create a contemporary adaptation of the iconic elderly sleuth titled 'Miss Ma.'

South Korea's Good Production Co. has signed a deal to create a contemporary adaptation of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple stories.

Good will work with Agatha Christie Ltd (ACL) to bring Christie's classic character, Jane Marple, to the small screen, which will be rebranded as Miss Ma and set in a contemporary Asian setting.

The 16-episode series will involve some of South Korea's top broadcasting talent. Yun Ho Yang (Yuri; Fighter in the Wind; Iris; My Sweet City) is set to direct a script penned by Jin Woo Park (Doctor Stranger; Land of the Wind; Han Sung Byul Gok).

Producer Jay Yoon (Smile, Mom; Great Present; When Tomorrow Comes) signed the deal with James Prichard, executive chairman of ACL who is also Christie's great grandson.

"We are very happy to have signed this deal with Good Production Co," said Prichard in a statement. "Agatha Christie Ltd is very much a global brand, and we are taking Christie's work into new territories. It is always exciting to create partnerships that allow us to see her stories translated into new cultures. Working with one of the most prestigious production companies and the best talent in South Korea, we have some exciting ideas for delivering a new interpretation of Miss Marple to a modern South Korean audience."

The deal marks the latest in the increasing number of adaptations of foreign works on South Korean TV. So-called "K-drama" has traditionally enjoyed global popularity, reaching out beyond Asia to South America and even parts of Africa and the Middle East, as well as (mostly online in) Europe and the U.S.. Not unlike South Korean cinema, original scripts have been the norm, but there have been more works based on existing narratives or franchises such as tvN's reinterpretation of The Good Wife starring Cannes-winning actress Jeon Do-yeon (Secret Sunshine) in the lead role.

"We will see one of the U.K.'s most iconic heroines adapted for the South Korean market by producer Jay Yoon and Director Yang Yun Ho. This series is specifically designed to engage with contemporary Asian audiences," said Amanda Groom, managing director of The Bridge in South Korea, who brokered the initial deal.

Producer Yoon says the new series will "retain the power of the original." "The narrative style of the South Korean adaptation of Agatha Christie will be different from television series produced up until now. It will retain the power of the original works, and at the same time will introduce lively new characters, unexpected plots and the essence of a typical South Korean 16-episode miniseries," he said.

Agatha Christie Ltd (ACL) has been managing the literary and media rights to Agatha Christie's works around the world since 1955. In November 2017, it will see the release of 20th Century Fox's feature film adaptation of Christie's acclaimed mystery, Murder on the Orient Express, starring Johnny Depp. ACL also handles territory-specific adaptations, such as the popular French series Les Petits Meurtres d’Agatha Christie and Japanese adaptations of Murder on the Orient Express (Fuji TV) and the forthcoming And Then There Were None (TV Asahi).