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The BBC has unveiled a two-part adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder Is Easy, produced by ITV Studios’ Mammoth Screen (The Serpent, World on Fire) and Agatha Christie Ltd. (And Then There Were None, Death on the Nile) for the BBC One network and the BBC’s video-on-demand service iPlayer in a co-commission with streamer BritBox International.
The thriller, which will get two hour-long episodes, will film this summer and be adapted by screenwriter Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre and directed by Meenu Gaur (Zinda Bhaag, World on Fire). Casting details will be announced later.
The story is set in 1954. “On a train to London, a man going by the name of Luke Fitzwilliam meets Miss Pinkerton, who tells him that a killer is on the loose in the sleepy English village of Wychwood under Ashe,” according to a plot description. “The villagers believe the deaths are mere accidents, but Miss Pinkerton knows otherwise – and when she’s later found dead on her way to Scotland Yard, Luke feels he must find the killer before they can strike again. Because for a certain kind of person, murder is easy… .”
“I’ve watched every Agatha Christie adaptation out, because Christie wrote for the world, and the whole world loves her back,” said Ejiwunmi-Le Berre. “But somehow I’d never read one of her novels. When I first read Murder Is Easy, I couldn’t believe how daring, experimental and furious the book was. Nothing like I’d expected. From the first read, the book was shouting at me how to enter and adapt it.”
Said Gaur: “I am part of the worldwide club of Agatha Christie’s fans and followers and therefore thrilled to be shaping one of her works for the screen. I was drawn to the sassy, cool, witty and not to be messed with women of Murder Is Easy and blown away again by how delightful her characters are.”
Added James Prichard, executive producer for Agatha Christie Ltd.: “This is one of my great grandmother’s best and most disconcerting titles. Of course, murder isn’t easy. Or is it if you live in a traditional unsuspecting English village?”
Indeed, Christie’s novel was putting “the post-war, quintessentially English village under the magnifying glass and exposing the secrets that lurk beneath the picture-perfect surface,” said James Gandhi, executive producer for Mammoth Screen.
Murder Is Easy is the latest in the ongoing series of Agatha Christie adaptations made by Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Ltd. for the BBC following the likes of And Then There Were None, The Witness for the Prosecution, Ordeal by Innocence, The ABC Murders and The Pale Horse.
Said Lindsay Salt, director of BBC Drama: “Agatha Christie on the BBC has become a classic combination, and in Murder Is Easy we have one of the Queen of Crime’s finest page-turners in a new adaptation that both speaks to us today and honors her incredible talent for brilliantly entertaining, skilfully told mystery.”
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