St. Mary Mead will never be the same. Deadline.com reports that Disney will produce a new franchise of Miss Marple films co-produced by and starring Jennifer Garner, 38. The point of the books and movies is that because the world ignores old women, Miss Marple can easily ask too many innocent questions and go about her shrewd detective work unnoticed. The other great joy is her steadfast belief in the universality of her village; everything that occurs in the greater world is exactly like something that happened in St. Mary Mead. The third thrill of the oeuvre is her total lack of sentimentality, and her ample skepticism. Discussing a newly dead young woman, other people lament the loss, saying she may have had "remarkable qualities." Miss Marple says, "Probably not." Can you see baby faced Jennifer Garner delivering that line? In a bikini?
Christie copyright holder / entertainment behemoth Chorion, owned by openly gay Lord Waheed Alli, says the deal has not been finalized. Some industry watchers suspect that's merely a last-minute move to milk more Miss Marple money from Mickey Mouse.
The relevancy here is that it's not just queer stories that are reworked -- ridiculously, illogically -- for mass consumption. Hollywood will always take the richer, greedier path.
If you haven't seen them, the Joan Hickson versions of Miss Marple are brilliant, and the only DVDs worth watching. Agatha Christie hated the popular Margaret Rutherford series, though not nearly as much as she would have detested this idea.