A new Inspector Maigret series based on the novels of George Simenon is in development, four years after ITV canceled the last version which featured Rowan Atkinson in 2017. The new show will be produced by Colin CallenderPlayground Entertainment, the BAFTA-winning production company, which is also producing the new version of All creatures big and small which runs on Channel 5 in the UK and PBS in the US.
New Maigret will be in English and that Playground owns the rights to the 75 novels and 28 short stories by George Simenon starring Inspector Maigret. The stories weren’t so much traditional thrillers as police procedurals with the wise cop using his intuition and powers of observation to solve cases across Paris, his figure recognizable by his bowler hat, trench coat and pipe. . Maigret’s books have sold over 600 million copies worldwide and have been translated into over 50 languages.
It comes three years after ITV canceled the last Maigret adaptation, which included four television features over two series between 2016 and 2017. Rowan Atkinson starred as Jules Maigret, with Lucy Cohu like Madame Maigret and Shaun Dingwall as Inspector January.
Maigret never really left. There has always been a dramatized series on British and French television. It is almost as ubiquitous as Agatha Christie‘s Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, who weigh more heavily in France than in the UK, of course. There have been countless French films featuring Maigret since the 1930s. The BBC made a 52-episode television series in the 1960s. Previous actors to play Maigret include Charles Gray (best known for playing Bond villains) for BBC Radio 4 in the early 1980s, and Richard Harris in the 1980s and Michel Gambon in the 1990s, as well as the classic French movie star John Gabin in the cinema in France in the 1950s. There was a French television series which ran from 1999 to 2005 with Bruno Cremerwhich is considered by many fans to be the definitive television series of Maigret. Prior to Cremer, Jean Richard played Maigret on French television for over 20 years from 1967 to 1990, the longest actor to play the character before Cremer.
President and CEO of Red Arrow Studios International Tim Gerhatz said: “As one of the most recognized and celebrated crime fiction collections of all time, it is a privilege to partner with Playground and GSL to develop the iconic character of Jules Maigret for television and portray the romantic but gritty world of Paris that he inhabits.
“Playground has a distinguished reputation for bringing award-winning, gripping series to international audiences, and we look forward to creating a fresh and distinctive adaptation that will appeal to existing Maigret fans as well as new ones.”
Joint CEOs of Playground Scott Huff and david stern also said: “Georges Simenon was one of the most prolific crime writers of the 20th century and his seminal creation, Inspector Maigret, remains one of literature’s greatest detectives. This is a rare opportunity to ‘to adapt a work that is both distinctive and timeless and we’re incredibly grateful to the Simenon estate and for the partnership of Red Arrow as we bring Maigret to a global audience.”
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