Paramount is Sherlocking Agatha Christie with Will Gluck

By  · Published on March 6th, 2013

In 1926, mystery writer Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days. She returned, but never explained what happened.

A few writers have tried to fictionally solve that mystery, and now, according to Deadline Hollywood, Paramount is set to purchase Agatha, a spec script from Allison Schroeder (Mean Girls 2) that turns those 11 days into an action adventure. The article claims that the tone of the screenplay is “a female Sherlock Holmes meets Romancing the Stone.”

Plus, Will Gluck (Easy A, Friends with Benefits) is set to direct.

It’s unclear right now what relationship this project has to the 1979 movie of the same name where Vanessa Redgrave plays Christie during the 11-day disappearance, although it’s highly doubtful the new take will focus on Christie plotting revenge on her unfaithful husband. Or that it will borrow from the Doctor Who episode where Christie helps solve a mystery involving a giant killer wasp at her own house party.

Still, this whole thing is a weird pill to swallow. Christie is the world’s best known mystery writer, so turning her into an adventurer might be an interesting turn. Gluck is also a fine director, and it’s admirable to see him step outside his wheelhouse. It’s also understandably unfair to judge Schroeder purely on her previous teenage-girl-focused work (or Gluck for his).

But something about all of it, especially with that goofy tonal description, feels off. The personnel involved is admittedly out of left field, especially because neither will be able to toss in endless pop culture references (unless they’re out of 1926). More than that, there’s a lingering chance here that the movie will be closer to National Treasure than, you know, something good.

For now, I’m trying to maintain some optimism. It’s surprising news (which can be a great thing), and if they’re able to pull off a big adventure movie with a 36-year-old British author as the main character, it would be a real triumph. Hopefully they find room in the cast list for David Suchet.

Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector Podcast@brokenprojector | Writing short stories at Adventitious.