BBC, BritBox Set New Agatha Christie Adaptation ‘Murder is Easy’

Agatha Christie’s “Murder is Easy” is set to be adapted into a two-part film by BBC One, iPlayer and BritBox International.

Set in the sleepy English village of Wychwood under Ashe in 1954, “Murder is Easy” tells the story of Luke Fitzwilliam who finds himself on the trail of a serial killer after meeting Miss Pinkerton on a train to London. She tells him about a series of deaths that have taken place in her village – locals think they are all accidental but Miss Pinkerton knows the truth. When she later turns up dead herself – while on the way to visit Scotland Yard – Fitzwilliam realizes he needs to find the killer before yet more bodies start piling up.

ITV Studios-owned Mammoth Screen (“The Serpent”) and Agatha Christie Limited (“And Then There Were None”) will produce the feature, which is set to go into production this summer.

Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre is adapting the novel while Meenu Gaur (“Zinda Bhaag”) will direct. Casting has not yet been announced.

“Murder is Easy” is the second of three adaptations Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited are co-producing for BritBox International. The first, “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?,” which starred Hugh Laurie, Lucy Boynton and Will Poulter was a three-parter that came out last year.

The two companies have also collaborated on other Christie adaptations, including “And Then There Were None” and “The ABC Murders,” for the BBC.

Karen Kelly will produce while Ejiwunmi-Le Berre will exec produce alongside Agatha Christie Limited’s James Prichard, Mammoth’s Damien Timmer and James Gandhi. Jenny Frayn will exec produce for the BBC and Reemah Sakaan and Stephen Nye for BritBox International.

Fifth Season are repping global sales outside of the U.K., Americas and South Africa.

“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, and what’s so exciting is having everyone at Mammoth Screen and ACL jump right in there with me. It’s like going on an extended train journey with a genius sat next to you, whispering the secrets of storytelling into your ear.”

James Prichard, executive producer for Agatha Christie Limited, said: “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?”

Reemah Sakaan, CEO of BritBox International added: “We are thrilled to partner again with Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited to adapt another gripping Agatha Christie title, working with the BBC and a world class production team. This new co-commission underlines BritBox International’s standing as a major home of Agatha Christie programming, offering new adaptations like ‘Murder is Easy’ and ‘Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?’ – with more of these to come – and the largest collection of much-loved Christie classics in our markets.”

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