The old-fashioned murder mystery is back in style, and Hollywood is striking while the iron is hot.
20th Century Studios is developing a remake of acclaimed mystery author Agatha Christie’s classic novel And Then There Were None, and the studio has hired the husband and wife team of Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse, the writers of the Kristen Stewart drama Seberg, to write the new version.
Deadline reports that Waterhouse and Shrapnel (what cool names!) to adapt Christie’s book, which was originally published in 1939 and went on to become one of the all-time classics of the mystery genre and the best-selling mystery novel ever with more than 100 million copies sold.
The book served as a huge inspiration for the movie Clue and several murder mysteries like it, and has been remade several times already (including as a 2015 TV series, the trailer for which you can watch below). The story centers on a group of people who are called to an isolated island mansion and accused of murder; they can’t leave, and someone starts killing them off one by one. It’s a good read with twists aplenty – Christie once said it was the most difficult book she’d ever written. Here’s a description from her official website:
Ten strangers arrive on an island invited by an unknown host. Each of them has a secret to hide and a crime for which they must pay. The strangers include a reckless playboy, a troubled Harley Street doctor, a formidable judge, an uncouth detective, an unscrupulous mercenary, a God-fearing spinster, two restless servants, a highly decorated general and an anxious secretary. One by one they are picked off. Who will survive? And who is the killer? Copies of an ominous nursery rhyme hang in each room, the murders mimicking the awful fates of its ‘Ten Little Soldier Boys’.
This is the story that made Agatha Christie the best-selling novelist of all time and is read the world over in more than 50 languages. “It was so difficult to do,” she writes, “that the idea had fascinated me.” It was an idea which is now the basis for many Hollywood horror films and has become a cliché to modern audiences, but it was Agatha Christie who was the first to do it and so successfully that the story has become her most adapted piece.
The new movie remake will reportedly keep the book’s pre-World War II setting, yet Deadline says it will also have a “fresh take,” so I’m not entirely sure what to expect here. Even though Seberg didn’t earn high marks from critics, Shrapnel and Waterhouse have also worked on Captain Marvel, The Aftermath, Netflix’s upcoming remake of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, and they’re also working on Legendary’s adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris’s Ex Machina, the movie version of which is titled The Great Machine.
Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps is producing alongside the Christie Estate. As always, we’ll keep you updated when we hear more.
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