ITV’s Director of Television, Peter Fincham, today confirmed commission of two stand-alone dramatic films featuring the legendary French fictional detective Jules Maigret, to be played by Rowan Atkinson.
Set in the 1950’s in Paris, the first of the two x 120’ films, Maigret Sets A Trap and Maigret’s Dead Man, will go into production in September 2015, produced by Ealing Studios and Maigret Productions Ltd (a Peters Fraser Dunlop Group company) and commissioned by ITV’s Director of Drama, Steve November, and Controller of Drama, Victoria Fea.
Maigret will be written by Stewart Harcourt (Love & Marriage, Treasure Island, Marple). The Executive Producers are Barnaby Thompson (Easy Virtue, Dorian Gray, St. Trinians) and Ben Latham-Jones (Nina, D Train, Midsummer Nights Dream) for Ealing Studios, John Simenon for Maigret Productions, and Stewart Harcourt. Jeremy Gwilt (Undeniable, Foyle’s War, Torn, Home Fires) will produce the drama.
With his laconic manner, heavy coat and trademark pipe, the formidable character of Jules Maigret first appeared in print in 1931. 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.
Maigret Sets A Trap is adapted from the Simenon novel “Maigret tend un piège.” The second film “Maigret’s Dead Man” is based on “Maigret et son mort.”
Globally-renowned actor and comedian, Rowan Atkinson, who is best known for portraying iconic characters such as Johnny English, Blackadder and Mr Bean, will play the dramatic role of Jules Maigret, the magnificently measured and insightful French detective.
On his role as Maigret, Rowan Atkinson said: “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”.
ITV’s Director of Television Peter Fincham said: “Maigret is a prestigious commission and we’re delighted to be working with Maigret Productions, Ealing Studios and Rowan Atkinson, to bring these stories to screen for our viewers.”
Barnaby Thompson said: “Simenon was the godfather of the modern detective novel. We are excited to bring one of his greatest characters and the gritty life of Paris in the 1950’s to the screen. We are thrilled to be making this new adaptation with ITV.”
John Simenon said: “Maigret has been part of our family for almost nine decades, and we are bringing together one of the best-known characters in world literature with one of the greatest international stars. I have no doubt my father, like me, would have approved of Rowan’s casting and been very excited to see him inhabit his most renowned creation.”
BBC Worldwide is the international partner for Maigret and the BBC’s commercial arm will oversee the global rights for the series in all territories outside the UK.
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