Tuesday, September 21, 2021

DOUBTS RAISED ABOUT REPORTED DISNEY DEAL FOR CHRISTIE BOOKS

March 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Miss Marple? (Jennifer Garner)

Reports that Disney plans to produce a film based on Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple character with 39-year-old Jennifer Garner in the lead are being scorned and, in some cases, being viewed with disbelief by the British press and Christie fans. In a BBC Radio interview today (Wednesday), Charlie Higson, author of The Young Bond, suggested that it was unlikely that the Christie estate would ever countenance such an adaptation. “These estates are incredibly powerful, and controlling, as they should be,” he said, “and I know that the Christie estate has been hands on to preserve what they’ve got.” And Christie’s biographer, Laura Thompson, said that Christie herself would never have approved. She noted that Christie — the best selling author in history — once denounced the MGM films based on her character, asking studio executives “to have their cheap fun and leave me and my creations alone.” One British newspaper, the Coventry Telegraph, headlined an article about Disney’s plans, “Has Hollywood Lost Its Marples?” The London Daily Telegraph commented, “This makes about as much sense as casting Dame Judi Dench as Cinderella or Justin Bieber as Inspector Morse.”

Miss Marple (Joan Hickson)

At agathiachristie.com, the outrage was vehement and witty. The alarm was sounded by one fan who warned: “We are in for a major, major character assassination.” Another observed: “Part of why Miss Marple is such a great sleuth is the fact that she’s an elderly spinster, and has been around and seen everything in her many years of living–AND that people underestimate her because of her age!” Another called the decision to cast Garner as Marple “one of the most bizarre casting choices in cinema history. Maybe the travesty won’t stop there; after all it is Disney and maybe she will give us a song or two along the way.” Still another pointed out, “If they change all that makes Miss Marple Miss Marple, it isn’t Miss Marple!” Another fan launched a Facebook page: Keep Agatha’s Characters and Stories As Originally (Wonderfully) Written!


UPDATE: Deadline.com is reporting that Chorion, the company that owns the rights to Christie’s novels, has told the BBC that the deal with Disney has not closed.