Jennifer Garner chief suspect in hunt for new Miss Marple

Jennifer Garner will play the role of Miss Marple, the elderly, unmarried detective of Agatha Christie’s famous crime novels.

Miss Marple will be portrayed as younger woman in the new film about the amateur sleuth, made by Disney.

Garner, 38, will also the produce the film. So far it is not known whether the project will be based on any of Christie’s novels: the British author always posited Marple as a woman in her 70s, so screenwriter Mark Frost may well be working from scratch.

This genteel detective with the instinctive understanding of the dark side of human nature has been played by several actors on the big screen, most notably Margaret Rutherford, who appeared in four films between 1961 and 1964.

Angela Lansbury took on the role for 1980’s The Mirror Crack’d, directed by James Bond stalwart Guy Hamilton and featuring an all-star cast that included Elizabeth Taylor and Kim Novak. Joan Hickson played Marple in a series of TV films for the BBC between 1984 and 1992, which adapted all of Christie’s novels.

In the books, Miss Marple is a quintessentially English character who lives in the village of St Mary Mead, but it is not known whether the Garner version will follow suit.

The Hollywood Reporter says the new film will update the action to the present day – Christie’s character first appeared in 1927.

Frost is best known for his work with David Lynch on the Twin Peaks TV series, though he is also credited as a screenwriter on both critically derided Fantastic Four films.