Fresh fields for Marple!

Monday, February 11, 2008 by

Fun news from ITV…


ITV today announced that Julia McKenzie has taken over the iconic role of Miss Marple. Julia will begin filming A POCKETFUL OF RYE at the end of this month.

Geraldine McEwan, the last actress to take on the nation’s favourite spinster sleuth, retired last month after three hugely successful series. The hugely popular Emmy Award nominated ITV films have been sold to over 100 territories worldwide and peaked in the ratings at 10 million viewers.

Star of stage and screen, Julia McKenzie most recently appeared in Cranford as Mrs Forrester and the critically acclaimed Notes On A Scandal. Earlier credits include Fresh Fields, Bright Young Things and Blott On The Landscape. On stage Julia recently starred in The Philadelphia Story at the Old Vic, and has many award wins and nominations to her name, both on Broadway and in the West End. She won an Olivier for her performance as Mrs Lovett in the National Theatre production of Sweeny Todd.

Julia McKenzie said:
I’m very excited but also slightly daunted by the enormous responsibility that comes with taking on such an iconic role. Just about everybody in the world knows about Miss Marple and has an opinion of what she should be like, so I’m under no illusions about the size of the task ahead. And I suppose I’ll have to remind myself how to knit!

Laura Mackie, ITV’s Director of Drama, said:
Although the Miss Marple brand is one of the strongest in British television, the character herself is always open to interpretation. Julia McKenzie will bring another dimension to a classic character, and I hope the public are as excited as I am to see her bring her own unique interpretation to one of fiction’s most well loved detectives. 

Mathew Prichard, grandson of Agatha Christie and Chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd said:
Everyone has their favourite Miss Marple from past series and films, and it would be unfair of me to reveal my own favourite at this time – but I will say that I can imagine Julia McKenzie playing Miss Marple with exactly the right balance of sympathy and intelligence, and I confidently predict that she will become a Miss Marple to rank with the very best!

Phil Clymer, Executive Producer of Marple, and Chorion’s Director of TV and Film, said:
Julia McKenzie has been the outstanding candidate ever since we learned that Geraldine McEwan felt it was time to step down from the role. For me, Julia McKenzie ticks just about every box when it comes to playing the Marple character, and I’m thrilled that she has agreed to take on this new challenge.

Rebecca Eaton, Executive Producer, WGBH/Masterpiece Mystery!, said:
We know that Miss Marple is as popular in the USA as anywhere in the world. We are sure that Julia McKenzie will build on this remarkable heritage and bring in a whole new generation of American Marple fans.

Geraldine McEwan first appeared in Agatha Christie’s Marple in The Body In The Library in 2004. Since then she has appeared in a total of 12 films, 10 of which have been shown on ITV1; Towards Zero and Nemesis are still to be shown. Geraldine was the sixth actress to take on the much-loved character on screen, following in the footsteps of Gracie Fields, Margaret Rutherford, Angela Lansbury, Helen Hayes and Joan Hickson. 

Agatha Christie’s Marple is co-produced by Granada, Agatha Christie Ltd and WGBH Boston. Granada International, who brokered the US co-production deal, holds worldwide distribution rights. Michele Buck; Damien Timmer; Phil Clymer, Chorion’s Director of TV & Film and Rebecca Eaton of WGBH are Executive Producers. American audiences watch the Marple series on Masterpiece Mystery! on PBS.

An all star cast for A POCKETFUL OF RYE will be announced later this month.


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