Ordeal By Innocence—first installment in a series of Amazon Originals—began production this month and will become available exclusively to Prime members in the U.S.
(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon announced its continued growth of international production, adding a series of adaptations from Agatha Christie Limited to its lineup of dramatic Amazon Original Series in the U.S.
The first adaptation of Christie’s classic stories, Ordeal By Innocence, began production earlier this month in the U.K. and will feature an ensemble cast, including Bill Nighy (Love Actually, Pirates of the Caribbean), Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness), Ella Purnell (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), Matthew Goode (The Good Wife, Downton Abbey), Catherine Keener (Get Out, Capote), Ed Westwick (White Gold, Gossip Girl), Luke Treadaway (Fortitude), Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark), and Morven Christie (The A Word). In Ordeal By Innocence, old wounds are reopened for the Argyll family when a man suddenly turns up and claims that the black sheep of the family, Jack Argyll, could not have murdered its tyrannical matriarch—for which he was accused just one year earlier. The family must come to terms with Jack’s innocence and with the fact that one of them may be the real murderer. Amazon’s deal with Agatha Christie Limited continues its partnership with production company Mammoth Screen and was brokered by WME.
Ordeal By Innocence reunites Agatha Christie Limited and Mammoth Screen with writer and executive producer Sarah Phelps, following the critical success of And Then There Were None (BBC One) in December 2015 and The Witness for the Prosecution (BBC One) in December 2016. Amazon Prime Video will be the exclusive premium subscription streaming home for these series in the U.S.
“We are thrilled to bring to our slate these adaptations from the world’s greatest mystery writer,” said Morgan Wandell, Head of International Series, Amazon Studios. “With terrific talent, in front of and behind the camera, they are sure to delight our customers.”
“We are delighted to be working with Amazon in the TV space. They have obviously played a massive part in our book business over the past few years, and it is exciting to move with them onto Prime Video in the U.S.,” said James Prichard, Chairman and CEO of Agatha Christie Limited.
“The brand of Agatha Christie resonates around the world,” said WME | IMG Partner Chris Rice. “We couldn’t be happier to have Amazon as our U.S. home for this franchise. We think the series of specials will attract great auteurs and actors to create compelling content for audiences everywhere.”
Ordeal By Innocence and the additional forthcoming drama series from Agatha Christie Limited will be available for Prime members to stream and enjoy using the Amazon Video app for TVs, connected devices including Amazon Fire TV, and mobile devices, or online with other Amazon Original Series online at Amazon.com/originals, at no additional cost to their membership. Eligible customers who are not already Prime members can sign up for a free trial at www.amazon.com/prime. For a list of all Amazon Video compatible devices, visit www.amazon.com/howtostream.
IMG will handle international sales on behalf of Agatha Christie Limited. WME and Sky Vision negotiated the deal with Amazon.
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Agatha Christie Limited
Agatha Christie Limited (ACL) has been managing the literary and media rights to Agatha Christie's works around the world since 1955, working with the best talents in film, television, publishing, stage and on digital platforms to ensure that Christie’s work continues to reach new audiences in innovative ways and to the highest standard. The company is managed by Christie’s great grandson James Prichard.
November 2017 will see the release of 20th Century Fox’s feature film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s acclaimed mystery, Murder on the Orient Express. The film will be directed by five-time Academy Award nominee Kenneth Branagh, who will also star as Poirot. Branagh helms an all-star cast that includes Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Olivia Colman, Willem Dafoe, Daisy Ridley, Tom Bateman, Derek Jacobi, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Sergei Polunin and Lucy Boynton.
ACL’s recent television projects include the critically-acclaimed BBC One adaptations of And Then There Were None (Aidan Turner, Charles Dance, Sam Neill) and The Witness for the Prosecution (Toby Jones, Andrea Riseborough, Kim Cattrall), both produced by ACL alongside Mammoth Screen, with screenplays from Sarah Phelps (Great Expectations, The Casual Vacancy). Production begins shortly on Ordeal By Innocence, the first of seven new adaptations for the BBC over the course of the next four years.
Globally, ACL works closely with leading screen production companies to deliver territory-specific adaptations. Notable productions include the popular French series Les Petits Meurtres d’Agatha Christie produced by Escazal, and Japanese adaptations of Murder on the Orient Express from Fuji TV (winner of the Tokyo Grand Prix drama award) and the forthcoming And Then There Were None from TV Asahi. Further projects are in development in Europe, the U.S., Asia and Latin America.
In 2016 literary projects included the global publication of the new Hercule Poirot novel Closed Casket, the second continuation novel from bestselling crime writer Sophie Hannah, published in more than 30 languages and distributed in over 100 territories. Sophie will shortly begin work on two more Poirot novels for publication in 2018 and 2020.
About WME | IMG
WME | IMG is a global leader in entertainment, sports and fashion operating in more than 30 countries. Named one of Fortune’s 25 Most Important Private Companies, WME | IMG specializes in talent representation and management; brand strategy, activation and licensing; media production, sales and distribution; and event management.
WME | IMG has led the market in global co-productions recently selling “The Night Manager” and “Dirk Gently” in over 190 territories; handling territorial sales for “Top of the Lake: China Girl,” “The Young Pope,” and the upcoming Sky / Amazon series “Britannia.”