The BBC has unveiled its first Agatha Christie adaptation in the post-Sarah Phelps era.
Playwright Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre is penning Murder is Easy for BBC One and BritBox International following a quintet of Phelps-written Christie reworks over the past decade: And Then There Were None, The Witness For The Prosecution, Ordeal By Innocence and The ABC Murders, which have starred the likes of John Malkovich.
Produced by ITV Studios-backed Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited and directed by Meenu Gaur (Zinda Bhaag, World on Fire), the two-parter follows a man who, on a train to London, meets a woman who tells him that a killer is on the loose in the sleepy English village of Wychwood under Ashe.
The villagers believe the deaths are mere accidents, but Miss Pinkerton knows otherwise – and when she’s later found dead on her way to Scotland Yard, Luke feels he must find the killer before they can strike again.
“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, who added that she had never read one of the acclaimed author’s 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.”
BBC Drama Director Lindsay Salt said the adaptation “speaks to us today and honors [Christie’s] incredible talent for brilliantly entertaining, skilfully told mystery.
Co-producer BritBox is also making Hugh Laurie-starring Christie adaptation Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? and recent big screen remakes include Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express, which star Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot.
Murder is Easy is adapted by Ejiwunmi-Le Berre, directed by Gaur and produced by Karen Kelly. Executive producers are Ejiwunmi-Le Berre, James Prichard for Agatha Christie Limited, Damien Timmer and James Gandhi for Mammoth Screen, Jenny Frayn for the BBC and Reemah Sakaan and Stephen Nye for BritBox International.
Fifth Season will handle international sales outside of the UK, Americas and South Africa, where it will be available on BritBox.