Richard Osman has revealed that legendary director Steven Spielberg has bought the film rights to his debut novel, The Thursday Murder Club, about four English pensioner sleuths.
Pointless co-host Osman began writing the tale, about four diverse residents in a retirement home who join forces to solve a murder, two years ago.
Osman told The One Show: “I started writing it completely in secret because the last thing anyone wants is someone on telly writing a book, so I thought I’ll write it in secret and show it to someone I trust, then I will look them in the eyes and ask them “Is it any good?”
He continued: “They very kindly said it was really good. It’s called The Thursday Murder Club, it’s a crime novel… Literally since then it’s gone absolutely crazy. It’s sold around the world. I’ve sold the film rights… but only to Steven Spielberg.”
Michael Ball asked him why the ET and Jaws director bought it: “I think he read it and liked it.”
Osman revealed more about his “very, very British” novel.
“It’s about four people in their Seventies,” he said. “I went to a beautiful retirement village where friend of mine’s mum lived, beautiful view, rolling green hills, a lakeside restaurant and I thought, ‘Oh my word, this would be such a great place to have a murder’, which I know you shouldn’t ordinarily think! But then I was talking to the people there, what they’d done in their lives, and I thought if there was a murder there, I know you lot would solve it… Some of you would probably have committed it as well!”
Osman created four characters who were inspired by the residents he met – “one was a spy, one was a nurse, one was a trade union official and one was a psychiatrist and someone is murdered and the four of them team up as The Thursday Murder Club to solve it”.
The Thursday Murder Club goes on sale next week and Osman revealed he was currently writing a sequel and had plans for a third and fourth book.
But he warned readers: “Everyone who survives from the first book will return for the sequel, [but] not everyone survives…”
He enjoyed writing for characters in their Seventies because they can get away with things younger people can’t.
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He added: “Bad stuff happens to them and they do bad stuff, but it’s very funny.”
Asked by The One Show hosts Ball and Alex Jones who would star in The Thursday Murder Club, he said he had no idea and that would, of course, be up to Spielberg.
The movie is being developed by Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment company and Osman is on board as an executive producer.
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