EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox has acquired the feature rights to Agatha Christie’s classic mystery novel And Then There Were None, and the studio has set The Imitation Game‘s Morten Tyldum to direct. Eric Heisserer will adapt Christie’s 1939 novel, which has sold more than 100 million copies to establish itself as the all-time biggest-selling mystery novel. The film will be produced by 21 Laps’ Shawn Levy, Dan Levine and Dan Cohen, along with Hilary Strong and the author’s estate, Agatha Christie Productions. Daria Cercek will oversee for Fox.
The novel follows 10 strangers who are tempted to come to Soldier Island for different reasons. They soon realize they were brought there under false pretenses and are trapped, and are being bumped off one by one for crimes we learn they committed but were never punished for. They begin to realize that the killer is one of the 10. Levy’s 21 Laps has been pursuing this for years; the production company has previously worked with Heisserer on the Ted Chiang short-story adaptations Story Of Your Life and Understand. They pitched a take that got the Christie estate excited. Tyldum is a big fan of the novel and he helped hone the pitch.
Tyldum, whose The Imitation Game was a Best Picture Oscar nominee, is now in production on Passengers, the Jon Spaights-scripted science fiction film that stars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt at Sony. The producers just wrapped the sci-fi thriller Story Of Your Life at Paramount. Pic’s directed by Sicario helmer Denis Villeneuve, and stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker. 21 Laps also wrapped the Jeff Blitz-directed comedy Table 19 and are about to get underway with the Ice Cube-Charlie Day-starrer Fist Fight and the John Hamburg comedy Why Him? at Fox, along with the Netflix horror series Stranger Things.
WME reps Tyldum, Heisserer, RLJ Productions and 21 Laps. Tyldum is managed by Anonymous Content, and Heisserer by Art/Work.