ITV has commissioned two films featuring the French fictional detective Jules Maigret, created by Georges Simenon.
Rowan Atkinson will play Maigret, who featured in 75 books by Simenon. Penguin is currently reissuing all 75 books as new translations in the Penguin Classics range.
ITV’s films will be “Maigret Sets a Trap” and “Maigret’s Dead Man”, which will go into production in September this year, produced by Ealing Studios and Maigret Productions Ltd, a company of the Peters Fraser Dunlop group.
“Maigret Sets A Trap” is adapted from the Simenon novel Maigret Tend un Piège while “Maigret's Dead Man” is based on Maigret et son Mort.
Simenon’s son John Simenon, who will be one of the executive producers, said: “Maigret has been part of our family for almost nine decades, and we are bringing together one of the best-known characters in world literature with one of the greatest international stars. I have no doubt my father, like me, would have approved of Rowan’s casting and been very excited to see him inhabit his most renowned creation.”
Penguin Classics has far published 16 of the Maigret novels, with the remaining 59 due at a rate of one per month.
Josephine Greywoode, series editor of the Maigret novels at Penguin Classics, said: “It’s wonderful to see so many people discovering – and rediscovering – this great writer. Each book in the Maigret series conjures a distinct atmosphere, combining period and geographical details with a gripping plot and sudden insights into the complexity of human nature. The more you read, the more you appreciate Simenon’s genius.”