This week sees the release of See How They Run – the feature directorial debut of Tom George, who previously helmed every episode of the hit BBC sitcom This Country.
The film is the latest in a recent wave of star-studded murder mysteries, boasting a cast that includes huge names like Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody and Sam Rockwell alongside a host of British actors.
It will no doubt be a particularly appealing prospect for fans of Agatha Christie – and indeed some viewers might be wondering if it is based on one of the great crime novelist's works. Read on for everything you need to know.
Is See How They Run based on an Agatha Christie book?
The short answer is no – the film is an original whodunnit from a script written by Mark Chappell, and is not specifically based on any existing Christie work.
That said, Christie's play The Mousetrap does play a major part in the story, with the film taking place against the backdrop of the show's 100th performance in 1953.
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And speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, director Tom George revealed that the Christie estate had been informed about the film – although they did not have any involvement beyond that.
"The Christie estate were aware of the film and read the script," he explained. "They weren't directly involved, because it wasn't an adaptation of The Mousetrap itself, or of any of her works.
"And we had to be careful about not infringing on their copyright in terms of what we showed of The Mousetrap," he added. "And of course, in particular, we were very careful about not spoiling the carefully kept reveal that they have in their story.
"But they read the script, and I think they understood that it was coming from a place of affection for the genre and for Christie's works in particular. And I hope they enjoy!"
Even if it isn't based on any of her works, though, Christie fans will spot all sorts of references to the prolific novelist – including the film's closing scene, in which Sam Rockwell's Inspector Stoppard turns to the camera and asks the audience not to give away the reveal, a direct reference to a long-standing tradition at the end of performances of The Mousetrap.
The script also pokes fun at several of the tropes inherent in Christie's work and murder mystery fiction more generally, although in an affectionate manner rather than a sneering one.
"It's a difficult balance to strike in as much as there are certainly moments where we're poking fun at the familiar ways that these plots tend to unfold in a murder mystery," George said.
"But at the same time, we are conscious of never looking down our noses at the genre, because people love murder mysteries – and for good reason! They're brilliant stories to lose yourself in.
"So, it was important to us to strike that balance between showing an awareness for the tropes of the genre, and the way the stories tend to pan out, but not seeming to criticise it."
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