Maigret is returning to television. Colin Callender’s Playground has teamed with Red Arrow Studios International and Georges Simenon Limited to develop an English language adaptation of Simenon’s Jules Maigret series of novels. The project is envisioned as a returning series.
The move to develop a new adaptation comes a little more than three years after TVWise broke the news that ITV had axed their Maigret series starring Rowan Atkinson. That marked ITV’s second bite at the apple, after they commissioned and produced an adaptation in the 1990s, featuring Michal Gambon in the titular role. At present there is no UK broadcaster attached to this new series.
Maigret, unlike many famous detectives who rely solely on their deductive powers or physical prowess, solves murders using his understanding of human motives and emotional makeup. Above all, Maigret is a cop. From the back alleys of Paris to the glamorous beaches of the South of France and beyond, Maigret’s reputation is so highly regarded that officers come to shadow him and merely observe his uncanny ability to get under the skin of the criminals he is chasing. But, it is only his devotion to his craft and his love for his wife, Madame Maigret, that satisfy Maigret.
The licensing agreement between Georges Simenon Limited and Playground and Red Arrow Studios International covers all 75 novels and 28 short stories based on the Jules Maigret character. The executive producers are Colin Callender, David Stern and Scott Huff for Playground, Tim Gerhartz and Rodrigo Herrera Ibarguengoytia for Red Arrow Studios International and John Simenon and Hilary Strong for Georges Simenon Limited. Red Arrow Studios International will handle global sales for the series.
“As one of the most recognised and celebrated detective novel collections of all time, it’s a privilege to collaborate with Playground and GSL on developing the iconic Jules Maigret character for television, and portraying the romantic yet gritty world of Paris he inhabits”, said Red Arrow Studios International’s Tim Gerhartz. “Playground has an eminent reputation for bringing award-winning and striking series to international audiences, and we look forward creating a fresh and distinctive adaptation that will appeal to Maigret’s existing fans as well as new ones.”
“Georges Simenon was one of the most prolific crime authors of the twentieth century and his seminal creation, Inspector Maigret, remains one of literature’s greatest detectives”, said Playground’s joint Managing Directors Scott Huff and David Stern. “It’s a rare opportunity to adapt a work that is both distinctive and timeless and we’re incredibly grateful to the Simenon Estate and for the partnership of Red Arrow as we bring Maigret to a global audience.”
Qhile John Simenon, CEO and Director of Georges Simenon Limited, added: “As the administrator of the various components of Simenon’s IP estate, I am constantly reminded of the rare privilege, and the correponding responsibilities, associated with the management of such an exceptional legacy. It is a challenging mission to reach out, through all media, to the widest potential audience for my father’s works and values, while preserving their integrity as well as his own. In that respect, this very special project is a key opportunity and I look forward to working on it with Playground and Red Arrow.”