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Amazon Nabs Agatha Christie Mystery Series Slate for U.S.

Variety logo Variety 7/18/2017 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

A new batch of Agatha Christie whodunits is coming to Amazon, which inked a deal for exclusive U.S. streaming rights to a series of adaptations from the British mystery maven’s estate.

Under the deal brokered by WME-IMG, Agatha Christie Ltd. continues its partnership with U.K. production company Mammoth Screen. In April, IMG reached a deal with Agatha Christie Ltd. to handle international sales for the slate of seven new dramas.

The first adaptation under the deal is “Ordeal by Innocence,” based on Christie’s 1958 novel, which began production earlier this month in the U.K.

“We are thrilled to bring to our slate these adaptations from the world’s greatest mystery writer,” said Morgan Wandell, Amazon Studios’ head of international series. “With terrific talent, in front of and behind the camera, they are sure to delight our customers.”

“Ordeal by Innocence” reunites Agatha Christie Limited and Mammoth Screen with writer and executive producer Sarah Phelps, following two adaptations produced for BBC One: “And Then There Were None” in December 2015 and “The Witness for the Prosecution” in December 2016.

The ensemble cast of “Ordeal by Innocence” includes Bill Nighy (“Love Actually,” “Pirates of the Caribbean”), Alice Eve (“Star Trek Into Darkness”), Ella Purnell (“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”), Matthew Goode (“The Good Wife,” “Downton Abbey”), Catherine Keener (“Get Out”), Ed Westwick (“White Gold,” “Gossip Girl”), Luke Treadaway (“Fortitude”), Eleanor Tomlinson (“Poldark”), and Morven Christie (“The A Word”).

Agatha Christie called “Ordeal by Innocence” one of her favorite books. In the tale, the Argyle family is disturbed to discover evidence that black sheep Jack Argyle did not, in fact, kill his mother a year before — a crime for which he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. The revelation means that someone else in the family is a murderer.

James Prichard, chairman and CEO of Agatha Christie Ltd. — and the scribe’s great-grandson — said Amazon has “obviously played a massive part in our book business over the past few years, and it is exciting to move with them onto Prime Video in the U.S.”

Added WME-IMG partner Chris Rice, “The brand of Agatha Christie resonates around the world. We couldn’t be happier to have Amazon as our U.S. home for this franchise.”

Robert Johnson’s RLJ Entertainment, which operates the Brit-television Acorn TV service in the U.S., owns 64% of Agatha Christie Ltd. Agatha Christie died in 1976 at the age of 85.

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