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Celebrated scribe ripe for revisiting

The Remakes Market 2012

The late mystery novelist Georges Simenon, best known for his fictional pipe-smoking invention police detective Commissaire Maigret, will be celebrated at the Remakes Market.

One of the 20th century’s most prolific authors, Simenon, who died two decades ago, wrote more than 400 books and novellas that were translated into 50 languages and have spawned more than 400 TV adaptations and 70 bigscreen makeovers. Filmmakers who have adapted Simenon’s material include Jean Renoir, Henry Hathaway, Burgess Meredith, Akiro Kurosawa and Claude Chabrol.

“Most of Simenon’s characters provide an easy, photogenic target for filmmakers,” says the author’s son John, who handles rights to dad’s work.

The Simenon homage will be hosted by Basic Lead, the communication group that organizes the Remakes Market, and the Ile de France Film Commission, which aims to attract U.S. filmmakers to Gaul through future film or TV adaptations of Simenon’s Paris-set novels.

“Paris is not only the frame but the most mysterious character of Simenon’s novels,” says Olivier Rene Veillon, the Ile de France Film Commission’s executive director. Veillon, however, admits Simenon’s stories could be set anywhere.

“Three Rooms in Manhattan,” one of Simenon’s most popular literary titles, is being developed in the U.S. as a New-York set feature film, per Veillon.

The timing is right for this Simenon tribute as Penguin will be publishing the Maigret crime novels, translated into English, at the end of the year in the U.S., says the Remakes Market founder Patrick Jucaud.

The Remakes Market will spotlight 76 properties, from classic and contempo films to TV shows, docus, books, graphic novels and other print properties, and will host workshops and panels discussing adaptations of graphic novels and documentaries. South African remake properties are also part of the agenda.

The two-day event, which is set to take place at the W Hotel in Hollywood on Nov. 8 and 9, will bring together a large panel of remake rights sellers, including Finland’s Yellow Film & TV and Blind Spot Pictures; Gaul’s Newen Distribution and France Television Distribution; U.S.’s London Square Entertainment; Mexico’s Rio Negro Producciones; and India’s Remakes Alliance.

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