Rowan Atkinson to play Maigret in new ITV films

Simenon’s French detective, ‘Maigret’ for ITV adaptation

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© Toby Hancock/Rex

ITV has commissioned two stand-alone dramatic films featuring the legendary French fictional detective Jules Maigret, to be played by Rowan Atkinson (Johnny English, Blackadder, Mr Bean)

Set in the 1950’s in Paris, the first of the two x 120’ films, ‘Maigret Sets A Trap’ and ‘Maigret’s Dead Man’, will be written by Stewart Harcourt (Marple) and based on the Georges Simenon novels ‘Maigret tend un piège’ and ‘Maigret et son mort.’

Appearing in 75 on Simenon’s Maigret novels, with his laconic manner, heavy coat and trademark pipe, the formidable character of Jules Maigret first appeared in print in 1931.

On his role as Maigret, Rowan Atkinson said: “I have been a devourer of the Maigret novels for many years and I’m very much looking forward to playing such an intriguing character, at work in Paris during a fascinating period in its history”.

Executive Producer Barnaby Thompson said: “Simenon was the godfather of the modern detective novel. We are excited to bring one of his greatest characters and the gritty life of Paris in the 1950’s to the screen. We are thrilled to be making this new adaptation with ITV.”

Maigret Productions, John Simenon said: “Maigret has been part of our family for almost nine decades, and we are bringing together one of the best-known characters in world literature with one of the greatest international stars. I have no doubt my father, like me, would have approved of Rowan’s casting and been very excited to see him inhabit his most renowned creation.”

Maigret, produced by Ealing Studios and Maigret Productions Ltd (a Peters Fraser Dunlop Group company) will go into production in September 2015.