Are you a fan of Agatha Christie? Did you ever watch the old Miss Marple films starring Margaret Rutherford, Angela Landsbury, Joan Hickson and other greats? Well you’re in for a shock now as Hollywood have taken hold of the old stories and done a bit of a makeover. Disney have decided that the elderly, tea-sipping, genteel and very English Miss Marple should be a young, great-looking American?!
I have nothing against Jennifer Garner, I am sure she’ll do a good job out of this but the whole concept is just not right in my mind. The stories were written by Christie in the 1930s, Miss Marple was actually spin-off character from another book and she was based on the author’s own grandmother. Christie is said to have wanted to give ladies of a certain age a voice, perhaps because she wasn’t getting any younger herself. Not sure how this will pan out in the new adaptation but we can only hope that the storyline stays the same.
The Telegraph rightly points out that Hollywood has always had an issue with women’s age on the silver screen. Even the part of Mrs Robinson in the Graduate was filled by a 36-year old Anne Bancroft (the daughter in the film was played by 27-year old Katharine Ross).
Why would Hollywood take a great brand (personal/fictional whatever you want to call it) that scores of people love and strip it of all the elements that define it? It could have the effect that Miss Marple fans snub this adaptation which is a shame as they should be the brand advocates. People who never heard of Miss Marple won’t care in either case. So at the end of the day, picking the Miss Marple franchise for a complete rehaul is risky and could end up completely flat.
Anyway, best of luck to them and I shall keep a keen eye on further developments. By the way, I have another idea for tinsel town: How about Hercule Poirot played by Justin Bieber?
For your viewing pleasure, here is a clip from a classic Miss Marple film with Margaret Rutherford (wait for her to get the golf club out to whack an intruder):