First up, I have to say that I think this is wrong. Plain wrong! (You’ll find out later why I’m a hypocrite!) But the beautiful Jennifer Garner (38) is all lined up to play Miss Marple, Agatha Christie’s famous elderly amateur detective who puts the professionals to shame. But for me, there is something about the “elderly” part of that which just feels so right and I don’t want Disney messing with it!
Agatha Christie is one of the world’s most famous crime writers and now some of her most popular sleuthing exploits are to be given a makeover by Disney. I’m all for the stories being brought to a new and younger audience. They are brilliant. But do we really have to dumb it down and sex it up? That seems to be where Disney is headed yet again.
The original stories have a quintessentially English feel, set in an English rural village, with crimes solved by an elderly spinster. We are more used to seeing Marple played by such matriarchs as Dame Margaret Rutherford, Joan Hickson and even Angela Lansbury as she returned to her British roots for the role. But the Hollywood version has Jennifer Garner in the starring role.
I’m just holding my breath (and reaching for the sick bag) for when her “love interest” is announced! However, it had not yet been announced whether the setting will remain in England, or if the bald plot lines will be cruelly transplanted into a totally different time and culture so that they bear little resemblance to the wonderful and iconic originals which have already stood the test of time.
The screenwriter is Mark Frost, of “Twin Peaks”, and what he wants to create is a contemporary drama “with an edge”.
Now here’s where my hypocrisy comes in. I actually liked Warner Bros’ re-invention of another fictional detective, “Sherlock Holmes”. It was so much of a hit that a sequel is planned for release later this year. But watching this was a totally different viewing experience, like putting mayo on your Michelin star dinner. I return again and again to the TV adaptations of Miss Marple that remain true to the original, with no special effects, a gentler portrayal of love not sex, and a rich and absorbing immersion into the period. For the flash-bang big screen Sherlock, I didn’t buy the DVD.
So what do you think? Am I a dinosaur or should classics be left alone without the Hollywood treatment?