Yay, Nay or Maybe: Jennifer Garner as a New Miss Marple?

by | Mar 30th, 2011 | 1:55PM | Filed under: News, Quizzes, Contests & Polls

With Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes having opened the studios’ doors for sexy re-imaginings of classic literary detectives, Disney has announced that Jennifer Garner will produce and star in a new film franchise featuring Agatha Christie’s beloved amateur sleuth Miss Marple.

From 1927 to 1971, twelve of the legendary British mystery writer’s 80 crime novels and many of her short stories were centered around Jane Marple, an elderly English spinster whose frail, dotty outward appearance hid a sharp mind and an unflagging insight into the worst of human nature.

In the past, Marple was played on screen by Margaret Rutherford in four films from the 1960s and then by Angela Lansbury in 1980′s The Mirror Crack’d. In fact, Lansbury’s 1984 TV series Murder, She Wrote was originally going to be an American take on Miss Marple.

The new Disney version with Garner will be set in contemporary times and with Garner obviously playing Christie’s detective much, much younger. It’s unclear yet whether or not the new Miss Marple will be English or American. Mark Frost, the co-creator of Twin Peaks, will be writing the script.

Needless to say, this announcement has Christie and Marple fans a wee bit distressed. After all, you could argue that the entire point of the Marple character is that her age and seeming harmlessness are what make her a unique and compelling crime solver.

What say you all? Can Disney and Garner come up with a fun, fresh take on an old classic? Or is a young Marple like having a non-Belgian Hercule Poirot or a skinny Nero Wolfe?

Sound off “yay,” “nay” or “maybe” in the comments below!

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6 Responses to “Yay, Nay or Maybe: Jennifer Garner as a New Miss Marple?”

  1. subheroine
    Posted on March 31, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Isn’t J. Gar also a wee bit too attractive for this role?

  2. Trevor L
    Posted on March 31, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Nay, very bad idea. Too young. I mean, I don’t mind if she’s too attractive, but they should get someone like Helen Mirren.

  3. The Other Mary
    Posted on March 31, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    My first thought was, “Well that’s like making Poirot American or something” so we’re thinking along the same lines.

    I’m going to say Maybe.

    It could be fun, but I doubt it’ll capture much of the spirit of Miss Marple.

    We’ll see.

  4. Locke Peterseim
    Locke Peterseim
    Posted on March 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Right Mary, I have absolutely NOTHING against Garner playing a happy, goofy but smart-and-saavy amateur detective — I think that’s a fine idea. But when the character could be so completely removed from Christie’s version, it begs the question, “Why do it as Miss Marple?”

    Unfortunately we know the answer to that — these days studios are LOATHE to greenlight movies, let alone potential franchises, that aren’t already pre-sold to audiences with a hook to a familiar character/brand/series. You could argue that Disney is just asking for negative press by announcing a Marple who’s so clearly UN-Marple-like, but of course there’s no such thing as bad publicity. That was the lesson learned with Interview With the Vampire–the more fans are upset in advance about a film, the more buzz it generates. Look at me–I would not have posted this news bit and we would not be talking about it (and therefore aware of it, thinking about it) if it wasn’t for the Christie-Marple angle.

    If there’s one thing Disney knows, it’s branding and selling that brand. I agree this Garner Marple could be something fun and enjoyable, but still I’m disappointed that they didn’t think either A) they could come up with a new fun detective character for Garner or B) they could do a financially successful new Marple movie with an age-appropriate actress such as Mirren or Judi Dench.

  5. Aly
    Posted on April 1, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Jen is the perfect person to play this role so what I’d she’s young. She kicked ass in alias and she will do it again in this . Having an old gal play it won’t do much for Disney just sayin!!!!! GO JENNIFER GARNER

  6. Matthew
    Posted on April 5, 2011 at 4:45 am

    Nay, Do not make Miss Marple young! Have garner play an older version of Nancy Drew,b ut not Miss Marple. If Disney insists on doing a Miss Marple film with Garner then at least change it to be her great niece or something of that nature.