Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Productions have begun filming a brand new three-part adaptation of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, penned by Sarah Phelps (The Casual Vacancy, Great Expectations).
1939. Europe teeters on the brink of war. Ten strangers are invited to Soldier Island, an isolated rock near the Devon coast. Cut off from the mainland, with their generous hosts Mr and Mrs U.N. Owen mysteriously absent, they are each accused of a terrible crime. When one of the party dies suddenly they realise they may be harbouring a murderer among their number.
The last adaptation of And Then There Were None was screened in 1989, with a cast including Donald Pleasence and Frank Stallone, under the title Ten Little Indians. This was the third version produced by Harry Alan Towers, who produced adaptations in 1974 and 1965. The earliest film version was screened in 1945 with the original American novel title And Then There Were None.
The American book publishers declined to use the original UK title of Ten Little N*****s upon its publication in 1940, as the racial slur was already considered offensive in the US – it took the UK a little while to catch up on that score. But strangely, after more than 20 years of being sold as And Then There Were None in the US, a paperback version was produced in 1964 titled Ten Little Indians. It took until 1986 to decide that this was offensive to Native Americans. Yes, 1986.
The new adaptation will feature a huge ensemble cast including Douglas Booth (Great Expectations, The Riot Club) as Anthony Marston, Charles Dance (Game Of Thrones, Imitation Game) as Justice Lawrence Wargrave, Maeve Dermody (Black Water, Beautiful Kate) as Vera Claythorne, Burn Gorman (The Dark Knight Rises, Torchwood) as William Blore, Anna Maxwell Martin (The Bletchley Circle, Death Comes To Pemberley) as Ethel Rogers, Sam Neill (Peaky Blinders, The Tudors) as General John MacArthur, Miranda Richardson (Mapp & Lucia, Parade’s End) as Miss Emily Brent, Toby Stephens (Black Sails, Jane Eyre) as Dr Edward Armstrong, Noah Taylor (Peaky Blinders, Game Of Thrones) as Thomas Rogers and Aidan Turner (Poldark, The Hobbit Trilogy) as Philip Lombard.
Agatha’s grandson Mathew Prichard, Chairman of Agatha Christie Limited said: “I am so excited that this, the most iconic of Agatha Christie stories, is being made for television with this truly extraordinary cast. My grandmother would be thrilled to know that a new generation will be able to enjoy And Then There Were None when it appears on the BBC.”
And Then There Were None will be screened to coincide with Agatha Christie’s 125th anniversary.