MGM has made a deal with the Agatha Christie estate to remake the classic mystery “Witness for the Prosecution.”

The contemporized whodunit will be produced by Dan Rissner and Marion Rosenberg and exec produced by Daniel Melnick. It will be the first MGM project for Melnick since he ran the studio.

“We are pleased to welcome Daniel back to MGM, which he headed in the 1970s,” said MGM president and chief operating officer Michael Nathanson.

Directed by Billy Wilder, the original screen adaptation of “Witness for the Prosecution” starred Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester. Released in 1957, it was nominated for six Oscars.

Rights to remake the pic have been coveted by many, but the Christie estate and MGM had differing opinions in the past, which bogged down a remake deal. Producer Rosenberg has been empowered by the estate to make such Christie remake deals, and she got it done with Melnick and Rissner.

Melnick said the original is a hard act to follow, but placing the pic in the present and setting it in the U.S. should create enough distance. “The smart thing to do is to accept that Billy Wilder made a wonderful movie that is 40 years old. You can still infuse the power of those characters in a modern setting, though.”

Melnick was last associated with the studio as senior veep from 1972-76, when the Lion’s output included “The Sunshine Boys,” “Westworld,” “Soylent Green,” “The Goodbye Girl” and “That’s Entertainment.”

Latter started a run of hit pics, and Melnick said it is memorable because it began as a covert attempt by him and Jack Haley Jr. to preserve the studio’s classic films.