Rowan Atkinson to Star in Maigret TV Movies for ITV

Rowan Atkinson - during a broadcast - P - 2007
AFP/Getty Images

The U.K. broadcaster unveils two films based on the novels from writer Georges Simenon with Mr Bean playing the fictional French detective.

U.K. broadcaster ITV on Friday unveiled plans for two TV movies based on Georges Simenon's novels about fictional French detective Jules Maigret, with Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean, Johnny English) playing the lead role.

ITV director of television Peter Fincham said the network operator has ordered two stand-alone dramatic films.

Set in the 1950s in Paris, the first of the two-hour long films will be Maigret Sets A Trap, followed by Maigret’s Dead Man. They will go into production in September and be produced by Ealing Studios and Maigret Productions.

The TV movies will be written by Stewart Harcourt (Treasure Island, Marple). The executive producers are Barnaby Thompson (Dorian Gray, St. Trinians) and Ben Latham-Jones (Midsummer Nights Dream) for Ealing Studios, John Simenon for Maigret Productions and Harcourt. Jeremy Gwilt (Undeniable, Foyle’s War) will produce them.

Said Atkinson: "I have been a devourer of the Maigret novels for many years, and I’m very much looking forward to playing such an intriguing character, at work in Paris during a fascinating period in its history."

"With his laconic manner, heavy coat and trademark pipe, the formidable character of Jules Maigret first appeared in print in 1931," ITV said. "Georges Simenon, who wrote 75 Maigret novels, is considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century – selling around a billion books worldwide to-date."

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