ITV remakes eight Christie mysteries

David Suchet, Julia McKenzie tapped to star

LONDON -- ITV has commissioned eight new Agatha Christie films, among them a remake of "Murder on the Orient Express," as part of a renewed output deal with British producer Chorion, which owns rights to the Christie estate.

The eight movies will include four starring David Suchet as legendary Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and four to star "Cranford" actress Julia McKenzie as Miss Marple.

ITV has enjoyed success with a series of Christie remakes from Chorion including "At Bertram's Hotel," which also aired on PBS in the U.S. The shows will be executive produced by Chorion's Phil Clymer.

ITV director of drama Laura Mackie said the franchises have "enduring" appeal for viewers. "There is always an appetite for a really good whodunit," she said. "And these really are the best whodunits on television."