Jennifer Garner to Be Miss Marple in Disney Reboot

Jennifer Garner as Miss Marple

Update 03/30/2011:
The plot thickens. Deadline now reports that despite Disney’s confirmation of the deal, Agatha Christie’s estate claims it has not in fact closed.

I blame Sherlock Holmes and Robert Downey Jr. for this. Deadline reports that Disney has bought the rights to one of Agatha Christie’s most beloved amateur sleuths: the elderly and sharp-witted but increasingly frail-bodied Miss Jane Marple.

The film will be a contemporary take on the sweet but surprisingly dark-minded gardening sleuth, who has been played by a range of older actresses like Margaret Rutherford, Joan Hickson, Angela Lansbury, and Helen Hayes. In a bit of a twist, Disney has decided to go younger. Much younger, in fact. Jennifer Garner, with her Vandalia Films producing partner Juliana Janes, has signed on to both produce the film and star in it as Miss Marple.

Mark Frost (Fantastic Four, Twin Peaks) is writing the script, but no director has been set. I’m a huge Agatha Christie and Miss Marple fan, and I would actually love to see the character brought back into films or television, but couldn’t Jennifer Garner be a niece to whom Miss Marple (maybe Dame Maggie Smith or Dame Judi Dench) passes the torch? Otherwise, this feels so wrong on so many levels.

Does anyone else think this is an epically bad idea? I do like the idea of a Twin Peaks influenced St. Mary Mead, but it should take more than a name to make a character.

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