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Rowan Atkinson to Play ‘Maigret’ in Two TV Movies for ITV

LONDON — Rowan Atkinson, best known for “Johnny English,” “Blackadder” and “Mr Bean,” is to play French detective Jules Maigret in two TV movies commissioned by U.K. commercial network ITV.

The 120-minute films, which are set in 1950s Paris, are titled “Maigret Sets a Trap” and “Maigret’s Dead Man.” Pics, which will go into production in September, are being produced by Ealing Studios and Maigret Prods, and will be licensed outside the U.K. by BBC Worldwide.

The pics will be written by Stewart Harcourt (“Love & Marriage,” “Treasure Island,” “Marple”). Executive producers are Barnaby Thompson and Ben Latham-Jones for Ealing Studios, John Simenon for Maigret Productions and Stewart Harcourt. Jeremy Gwilt will produce.

Maigret, who was famed for his laconic manner, heavy coat and pipe, first appeared in print in 1931. Sales for the books of author Georges Simenon, who wrote 75 Maigret novels, are around a billion.

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