Jennifer Garner Cast in Reboot of Agatha Christie’s ‘Miss Marple’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 7:06 am,

jennifer garner cast as agatha christies miss marple Jennifer Garner Cast in Reboot of Agatha Christies ‘Miss Marple’

The famed mystery novelist Agatha Christie was responsible for two of the most iconic detectives in literary history: Hercule Poirot (Murder on the Orient Express) and Miss Marple. What made Marple such a unique addition to the genre, for those unaware, was her kind nature, her nationality (English), and her status as an aged spinster.

Which is why it’s supremely disappointing to learn that Jennifer Garner has been tapped for the role.

According to Deadline, Disney is adapting the character’s exploits for the big screen with Garner as the detective. Let’s say that again: The Texas-born, American actress Jennifer Garner, age 38, is going to be playing a detective known primarily for being an English old lady.

It’s hard not to be incredibly cynical about this move. After all, Hollywood has a tendency to unnecessarily Americanize and skew younger with adapted properties – despite the creative damage that it does –  all in the name of dollar signs and the lowest common denominator. In fact, this whole ordeal reminds me of the Arrested Development joke where Tantamount Studios adapts Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea as “The Young Man and the Beach” starring Jude Law.

I think this image accurately captures the ridiculousness of this casting choice

The question is, what remains of this character that makes her Miss Marple? Jennifer Garner won’t be wearing aging makeup, so scratch the elderly aspect of the character off the list. Perhaps Garner will be affecting a British accent – a terrifying prospect, if true – but more likely they’ll just make her American and be done with it. So why, then, didn’t Disney just craft their own, entirely new female detective? Call her “Miss Bristow” or whatever and leave old Miss Marple out of harm’s way.

As with so many things these days, the reason is branding. In the same way that Battleship and Dark Shadows are brand names, Miss Marple is a brand name – although a relatively unknown one here in the States. Why concoct a wholly new story when you can cinematically cannibalize one that already exists, right?

Check out a clip (below) from Murder Ahoy, one of the more famous films about Miss Marple (as portrayed by character actress Margaret Rutherford), which previously held the title for being most loosely based on the character:

Murder Ahoy, 1964

Miss Marple has been adapted for the silver screen several times, though the last time (not counting the 1983 Russian adaptation and a slew of television movies) was in 1980 with The Mirror Crack’d, starring Angela Lansbury. Incidentally, the character was a major influence for Jessica Fletcher of Murder She Wrote fame, also starring Lansbury.

The new Miss Marple will be written by Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost and produced by Juliana Janes (13 Going on 30). As the old saying goes, this does not bode well.

Source: Deadline

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  1. Oh Hollywood, you’ve done it again.

    • lol

  2. Now that’s just silly.

  3. To paraphrase Charlie Brown right after the sabotaged footbal kick: Auuuugh!!!

  4. Executive 1: Hey, we’ve got this well known character. She’s an older, British lady who solves mysteries, sounds like a great movie franchise.

    Executive 2: No, no, no, that won’t work at all. We’ll make her about 40 years younger to appeal the the youth market and make her American since that accent won’t work for 2 hours.

    Executive 1: BRILLIANT!

    And much high-fiving and and back slapping ensues as Hollywood once again strikes a blow to respectable literature.

    • why would anyone want see a movie about a old British lady who solves mysteries

      • Personally I wouldn’t seeing one, its different from what I’ve normally seen, but I understand your complaint, but why couldn’t they simply make a new character instead of getting a literary character that’s best known for being an old lady?

      • …because she’s an interesting and brilliant detective and she and Christie’s other detective, Hercule Poirot, make for fascinating reading. She was also the inspiration for the show “Murder, She Wrote” which was an extremely popular show…Obviously, MANY people would want to see such a film.


      • Ah, so you’re the reason Hollywood does this sort of thing.

  5. Vanessa Redgrave, Maggis Smith, Judy Dench, even Helen Mirren….the possibilities are endless

    • Even Russell Brand would be a better choice.

  6. If you are going to go young why not someone like Emily Blunt?????

  7. as soon as i read the title i thought they’d be using age makeup or benjamin buttonesque effects…but sadly, no. she’d still be hot though.

  8. This is ridiculous. My Mother is a huge Agatha Christie fan, loving both Miss Marple, and Poirot. Next thing they are going to cast Ben Affleck as Poirot. It fits so well, he is default bad choice for every role I think Hollywood is going to mess up. Terrible, my Mom is going to be really sad when she hears this. Please tell me this is an early April fools joke =(

  9. Jennifer Garner as Miss Marple?????????

    Surely this story was due to be released on April 1st!

    Not even a mob of sycophantic morons posing as Disney Execs could consider this vile apology of an idea to be anything more than a very bad joke.

  10. This is the dumbest idea since Greedo shooting first.

  11. Margaret Rutherford (based on the clip) and Angela Lansbury are almost spot-on depicting Miss Marple if not improving on the character – in the books Marple was always the deceptively “senile” genteel woman of old England. As a fan and owner of 90% of Christie’s books, Miss Marple is a beloved character of many. Any reimagining will have to remain just that, a reimagining. A 38 yr-old Marple is like an abomination! Now I can just hope they don’t slaughter Poirot in the same way. Patrick’s suggestion of Ben Affleck as Poirot? BRRR ~shudders~ o_o

    PS: Saddens me to think that Murder Ahoy prolly does more justice to Christie’s work than any present day incarnation from Hollywood.

    • Why cast this horse faced ‘worst actress’ I have ever seen in this movie about an English rose? Disney have used british talent quite a lot recently (im thinking Pirates of the Carribean)and then they thore out Disney sr and he comes up with this!! I’m a proud Englishman and I am very fond of my American brothers but this takes the pi$$!!

      • Yeah, Miss Marple has to be an Old English Woman. I am really hoping this was a preemptive april fools joke

  12. Well, I guess if you live long enough…. I thought the Stretch Armstrong idea was bad but this takes the cake. Wait, maybe they’re using Garner as some flashback or something. Nah, still stinks. Garner is lovely but they should get a brit to play a brit.

  13. It could be interesting if they had a framework of old Miss Marple recalling her first mystery investigation as a young women. There have been a couple of watchable young Sherlock Holmes movies.

    But Jennifer Garner? Someone was hitting the crackpipe a little too hard on that one.

  14. Wow, an American getting a British role instead of the other way around. Poetic Justice or Hollywood stupidity. I am going with Hollywood stupidity, don’t get me wrong I love Jennifer Gardner, but she made a terrible Elektra.

  15. I’m gonna punt these goons off a cliff… why oh why would they make such a stupid choice?

  16. Yes!!!!!!!!!!! She’s going back to action!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. This is utterly ridiculous – only a tacky, ageist American company like Disney could come up with something this repulsive. Hollywood Philistines, and Disney has always been the most backwards of the lot. The whole POINT of Miss Marple is that she’s an elderly spinster. Jennifer Garner is not enough of a draw to pull this off, but nobody would be – it’s ridiculous to put anyone under age 60 in this role. Shame on the company, and double shame on the (obviously male) writer. Nobody will go to this movie – certainly none of Christies millions of fans.

  18. Emma Thompson Or Maggie Smith will be much suitable for the role and both won 2 oscars ^^