New York and London-based Playground Entertainment has partnered with Red Arrow Studios International to co-develop an English-language returning drama series, based on Belgian author Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret novels.
Georges Simenon Limited will act as a co-production partner on the project, which is aimed at the global market, with the company having agreed an option deal with Playground extending to all 75 novels and 28 short stories based on the Jules Maigret character.
Maigret is an ingenious French detective, who solves murders using his understanding of human motives and emotional makeup, tackling cases from the back alleys of Paris to the glamorous beaches of the South of France and beyond.
The adaptation will be executive produced by 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 GSL. Red Arrow Studios International will distribute the series worldwide.
The Inspector Maigret books, along with Simenon’s extensive body of work, have sold more than 600 million copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 50 languages.
The character has been portrayed numerous times before on both the big and small screens, including by Richard Harris, Michael Gambon and Jean Gabin, with the most recent adaptation casting Rowan Atkinson in the titular role for ITV’s 2016-2017 series Maigret.
Playground is the company behind projects including Wolf Hall for the BBC and Masterpiece on PBS and The Dresser for the BBC and Starz, as well as upcoming series such as Dangerous Liaisons for Starz and The Undeclared War for Channel 4 and Peacock.
“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 Tim Gerhartz, president & MD at Red Arrow Studios International.
Playground’s joint-MDs Scott Huff and David Stern added: “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.”