Fictional detective Ellery Queen is set to make a return to television – this time as a woman.
Incendo and BlackBox Multimedia have optioned the TV adaption rights to the collection of novels and short stories in which Queen, originally written as a male character, appears.
The two companies will co-develop and co-produce a modernized, high-end scripted series in which Ellery will be changed to female. The part of the best-selling detective has yet to be cast.
The “Ellery Queen” books, which were written by cousins Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee, remain hugely popular in the U.S. and abroad, including China. The character of Queen was both a fictional detective and a pseudonymous name the cousins used when writing or editing other works.
“’Ellery Queen’ is one of the most definitive series of detective fiction to ever be written,” Giuliano Papadia, CEO and creative director at BlackBox Multimedia said in a statement. “The stories have been global favorites for a huge part of the 20th and 21st Centuries. They have fascinating plots, unique characters, and settings you love to get lost in. The team at Incendo are the perfect partners for helping modernise this excellent and timeless series of stories.”
Gavin Reardon, Incendo’s international sales & co-production executive added: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to develop a new series, based off an already established, globally successful IP. In collaborating with the creative minds at BlackBox Multimedia, we are eager to discover the reimagined version of the novels come to life on screens around the world.”
Richard Dannay and Rand B. Lee of Jabberwocky Literary Agency, who represent the “Ellery Queen” estate, said “When our fathers first sat down to begin the collaboration that would become Ellery Queen, they never would have dreamed that they would then embark on a forty-year journey together, or imagined the remarkable success that ‘Ellery Queen’ would attain. All of us in the Lee and Dannay families are thrilled to be working with BBMM and Incendo, which have both been so respectful and admiring of the rich ‘Ellery Queen’ tradition, in crafting a new chapter on the screen for our shared legacy.”