BBC acquires Magpie Murders and sequel Moonflower Murders
James R | On 21, Jan 2023
The BBC has acquired Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders, and will air its follow-up, Moonflower Murders.
Based on his chart-topping books of the same names, the series is adapted for television by Anthony Horowitz and executive produced by Jill Green. A murder mystery within a murder mystery, it stars Lesley Manville (The Crown, Phantom Thread) as editor turned sleuth Susan Ryeland, and Timothy McMullan (Patrick Melrose, The Serpent) as famous literary detective Atticus Pünd.
The cast also includes Daniel Mays (1917, Line of Duty), Michael Maloney (Belfast, The Trial Of Christine Keeler), Conleth Hill (Vienna Blood, Game of Thrones), Alexandros Logothetis (The Island, Business in the Balkans), Claire Rushbrook (Sherwood, The Split), Pippa Haywood (Bodyguard, Bridgerton), Matthew Beard (Vienna Blood, Dracula) and Harry Lawtey (Industry, Benediction). Season 1 debuted on BritBox in the UK last year, but now, it is making the jump to the Beeb, following a deal with Sony Pictures, which distributes the series.
“Anthony Horowitz’s entertaining crime drama is as smart as it is playful,” we wrote in our review.
Magpie Murders will air this spring on BBC One and iPlayer. The BBC will also be the home of its sequel, Moonflower Murders, which will be made by Eleventh Hour Films in association with Salt Films for PBS MASTERPIECE and the BBC. Moonflower Murders will film later this year, and will see Manville and McMullan reprise the roles they originated in Magpie Murders. Moonflower Murders will premiere on the BBC in 2024.
Anthony Horowitz says: “I’m very happy that Magpie Murders is going to be shown on BBC – its natural home. I had such fun writing the scripts and they’ve been brought to life by a brilliant director and cast.”
Jill Green says: “I’m so thrilled that this playful, distinctive murder mystery will now reach an even wider audience.”
First look: Daniel Mays joins BritBox’s Magpie Murders
23rd September 2021
BritBox is heading to the fictional village of Saxby-on-Avon for its latest original drama, Magpie Murders, based on the book of the same name by Anthony Horowitz.
The first in the Susan Ryeland series of novels, the meta-whodunnit follows Ryeland, an editor who is given an unfinished manuscript by best-selling mystery writer Alan Conway, featuring Conway’s detective Atticus Pünd, but has little idea it will change her life.
The story-within-a-story series, which is directed by Peter Cattaneo (Military Wives) and adapted by Horowitz himself, has lined up an impressive cast, including Lesley Manville as Ryeland and Conleth Hill as Conway. They will be joined by Timothy McMullan (The Crown) in the role of Atticus Pünd after Timothy Spall stepped away due to a scheduling clash, and Daniel Mays as Inspector Raymond Chubb.
Other cast members joining the series include Rose d’Or Award winning actress Pippa Haywood (Bodyguard, Green Wing, Bridgerton) and Michael Maloney (The Crown, The Trial Of Christine Keeler).
“Anthony has written such a brilliant and beguiling script, full of wit, suspense and murder. It’s an immense privilege to be asked to bring to life the wonderful and enigmatic Atticus Pünd,” says McMullan. “He’s such a great character to play, I feel very fortunate indeed. To be working with such a talented cast is a total joy, and to be also working with Peter Cattaneo, of whom I’m a long-time fan, is the cherry on the cake… What a great job!”
Mays adds: “I’m beyond thrilled to be joining the hugely talented cast of Magpie Murders, not least to finally share the screen with the incredible Lesley Manville. Anthony Horowitz’ scripts are ingenious. Murder, intrigue with plenty of laughs and tears along the way. I couldn’t put them down. With two timeframes to play in and the actors portraying not one but two roles it presented a wonderful opportunity to create a special piece of television.”
The series is currently in production.