Rowan Atkinson is to play the legendary French fictional detective Jules Maigret in two stand-alone films for ITV.
Production will commence on the first of two 120 minute films, Maigret Sets A Trap, in September 2015, produced by Ealing Studios and Maigret Productions Ltd (a Peters Fraser Dunlop Group company). Set in 1950s Paris, 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.”
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.
“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”. – Rowan Atkinson
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.
“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.” – John Simenon
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.