Vishal Bhardwaj Sets up Agatha Christie Indian Film Franchise (EXCLUSIVE)

Indian filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj is developing a film franchise based on the works of Agatha Christie. The series will feature an entirely new pair of lead investigators.

The first film, due to shoot in early 2021, will introduce a young heroine who is thrown into solving a murder, and teams up with an unlikely companion to solve the case. Details of which Christie novel is being adapted for the film have not been revealed yet. The cast is currently being finalized.

Future films will follow the duo as they continue to investigate multiple murder mysteries.

Bhardwaj is best known internationally for his acclaimed Shakespeare trilogy “Magbool,” (Macbeth) “Omkara” (Othello) and “Haider” (Hamlet).

Christie’s books have sold over two billion copies across the globe in English and translations. Agatha Christie Limited (ACL) manages the literary and media rights to Christie’s works.

“Agatha Christie had a tremendous skill of defining emotional chaos, dysfunctional relationships and the turmoil in her characters while engaging us in a riveting mystery,” said Bhardwaj. “It is an honor to create an Indian franchise of a pair of young investigators looking to take over the world with their intelligence and charm. ACL have been such amazing partners and we are all excited to be on this journey.”

“I’m truly excited at the prospect of developing a new Agatha Christie film franchise in India, and am delighted to be partnering with Vishal, who is a multitalented and visionary filmmaker with a terrific track record for adapting works to create memorable pieces of cinema,” said James Prichard, the great grandson of Christie and chair and CEO of ACL. “(Bhardwaj) has also demonstrated a real passion and understanding of my great grandmother’s characters and stories and I very much look forward to seeing where this project takes us.”

Basi Akpabio (“The Pale Horse”) and Leo Dezoysa (“Yokoku Satsujin”) will serve as executive producers for ACL on the new films. Bhardwaj will co-produce via his Vishal Bhardwaj Films outfit.

Christie has a huge fan following in the Indian subcontinent with several films being inspired by her works over the years. The 1960’s Bengali-language “Chupi Chupi Aashey” is nod to stage play “The Mousetrap” and radio play and short story “Three Blind Mice,” while 1973’s Hindi-language “Dhund” is an homage to stage play “The Unexpected Guest.”

Novel, “And Then There Were None” is the most popular, with tributes to it including 1965’s Hindi-language “Gumnaam,” two Tamil-language films, 1970’s “Nadu Iravil,” and 2011’s “Aduthathu” and 2015’s Kannada-language “Aatagara.”

Other Indian homages to Christie works include 2003’s Bengali-language “Shubho Mahurat” that tips its hat to “The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side,” 2012’s “Grandmaster” that is a tribute to “The A.B.C. Murders” and 2016’s “Chorabali” that celebrates “Cards on the Table.”

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