Top o'the week means it's time once again for a quick look at news from the crime drama scene:
Two different movies based on the life of Agatha Christie are in the works, although they have to require approval from the Christie estate before going ahead. The Sony project is in talks with Alicia Vikanderto play a proto-feminist Christie uninterested in a traditional wife role (instead she intersects with the likes of Sherlock Holmes writer Arthur Conan Doyle and Winston Churchill). The Paramount version is eyeing Emma Stone to play the British literary icon, with the story postulating what happened to Christie during the 11 days she went missing in 1926.
Nordisk Film has acquired the remaining Danish language adaptation rights to Jussi Adler-Olsen’s bestselling "Department Q" book series. When finished, the series will comprise ten volumes, and Nordisk Film expects to produce up to six films from that lineup.
Eli Roth is set to direct Death Wish, the MGM/Paramount remake of the 1974 hit, with Bruce Willis playing the reluctant vigilante made famous by Charles Bronson. Roth takes the job after the exit early last month of Big Bad Wolves helmers Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado, who left over creative differences when they wanted changes in a script Willis had signed off on.
Actor and Golden Globe nominee Michael Sheen is making his feature directorial debut with Green River Killer and will also star in the film. The movie is based on real-life serial killer Gary Ridgway (who was convicted of 49 murders in the Seattle area in the 1980s and 1990s) and the police detective Tom Jensen, who spent 20 years looking for the notorious killer. Sheen is adapting the project from the graphic novel Green River Killer: A True Detective Story by Jensen’s son Jeff Jensen and artist Jonathan Case.
John Boyega (Star Wars: Episode VIII and the Pacific Rim sequel), has been cast in Kathryn Bigelow’s next as-yet-untitled film, a crime drama written by Mark Boal for Annapurna. The picture that shoots this summer is set against the backdrop of Detroit in 1967 amid the city’s devastating riots that took place over five summer days.
Ben Affleck's next standalone Batman film is returning to its noir detective roots. According to the actor, "the world's greatest detective aspect of Batman is more present in this story (Justice League) than it was in the last one and it would probably be expanded upon further in the Batman movie that I direct. All great Batman stories are, at their heart, detective stories, almost noir movies in a way. It feels like The Maltese Falcon."
The new Inferno trailer was released, with Tom Hanks once again starring as the symbologist Robert Langdon from Dan Brown's novels who must solve a deadly puzzle to avert a global plague.
Netflix and Canadian broadcaster CBC have teamed up to greenlight Alias Grace, a six-hour miniseries inspired by the true story of convicted murderer Grace Marks and based on Margaret Atwood’s titular novel.The story follows Grace Marks, a poor, young Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who, along with stable hand James McDermott, was convicted of the brutal murders of their employer and his housekeeper in 1843. James was hanged while Grace was sentenced to life imprisonment. Grace became one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of 1840s Canada for her supposed role in the sensational double murder, and was eventually exonerated after 30 years in jail.
BBC One announced they are adapting Agatha Christie's The Witness for the Prosecution, which was originally a short story before being adapted into a play and later a 1957 movie starring Marlene Dietrich. Set in 1920s London, the story focuses on the murder of an heiress and the main suspect, the man set to inherit the family fortune should she perish, who believes he can prove his innocence.
Hulu announced the premiere date of Hugh Laurie's new ten-part psychological thriller Chance, set for Wednesday, October 19. Laurie will star as forensic neuropsychiatrist Dr. Eldon Chance, who is dragged against his better wishes into an extremely dangerous world of corrupt cops, mistaken identities and mental illness. The cast also includes Gretchen Mol as Jaclyn Blackstone, the abused wife of a detective (Paul Adelstein) whose possible dissociative identity disorder causes big problems for the doc. Chance was created by Desperate Housewives and Bates Motel writer/director Alexandra Cunningham and author Kem Nunn, who wrote the novel that the show is based on.
Graceland alum Vanessa Ferlito has signed on to CBS’ NCIS: New Orleans as a new series regular for the upcoming third season. Ferlito will play a sexy, tough and acerbic FBI Special Agent who is sent down to New Orleans from DC to investigate the NCIS team. A by-the-book bureaucrat, she’ll bring a completely different way of doing things (as well as a mysterious past) to New Orleans, which will put her at odds with both the team and the town.
Regina King, who won an Emmy for the first season of ABC’s American Crime, is the first cast member to sign on for the upcoming third installment of John Ridley’s critically-acclaimed anthology series. In the first two seasons, the drama tackled such tough issues as race and class though the prism of crimes committed, although the story line for the third outing has yet to be announced. Fellow stars Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton have yet to sign, but they too are expected to return in new roles.
The Good Wife alumna Archie Panjabi has been tapped for a major recurring role in Season 2 of NBC’s thriller drama Blindspot. She will play the head of a secret division of the NSA that has been tracking the case of Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander), the tattoo-covered woman whose mysterious past forms the basis of the show.
NCIS co-stars Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, Rocky Carroll and David McCallum have all signed new two-year deals to continue on CBS’ flagship drama series, which returns for Season 14 in the fall. Harmon inked a new 2-year pact in February, triggering a two-year renewal for NCIS. The new contracts for Perrette, Murray, Carroll and McCallum assure that NCIS is set for Seasons 14 and 15 with its core cast on board. (The rest of the series’ cast members, Brian Dietzen and Emily Wickersham, are on a different contract cycle.)
USA announced that Mr. Robot will be getting some extra add-ons. Season 2 of the computer hacker drama, which premieres July 13, has had two episodes added to its running order, bringing its Season 2 total to 12. In addition to the expanded order, the season premiere will get a live special aftershow called "Hacking Robot" that will complement the documentary special called Mr. Robot_dec0d3d.doc, exploring the authenticity and social impact of the show.
Gracepoint vet Virginia Kull is set for a recurring role opposite Giovanni Ribisi on the upcoming Amazon drama series Sneaky Pete, which centers on Marius (Ribisi), a con man who after leaving prison takes cover from his past by assuming the identity of his cellmate, Pete. He moves in with Pete’s unsuspecting family and is roped into the family’s bail bond business. In order to keep the charade up, he plays the part of a skip tracer, taking down criminals worse than himself — and discovering a family life he’s never had. Kull will play Katie Boyd. who used to run cons with Marius until she went straight.
Hawaii Five-0's Catherine (Michelle Borth) didn't return for the season 6 finale, but according to showrunner Peter Lenkov, "She's still a part of our show. ... The idea is to push that story line until next year."
Dexter star Aimee Garcia has joined the cast of Fox’s comic book-themed drama Lucifer as a new series regular for Season 2, playing Ella Lopez, the department’s new forensic scientist. Her mutual belief in both faith and science proves a point of interest to Lucifer (and the rest of the department) as they get to know and love her quirky ways. The show recently added another key recurring actor, Tricia Helfer, as Lucifer’s mom.
After kicking off the 2015-16 TV season with the two-hour CSI movie/finale, CBS again is opting for event programming in September, scheduling its three-part, six-hour unscripted true-crime limited series Case Closed (which revisits the JonBenet Ramsey murder on its 20th anniversary), for the Sunday before the start of the season.
If you've got a little extra time on your hands, The Wrap has a slideshow of photos for "61 Fall TV Shows: Every New and Returning Series."
Basketball star-turned writer Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and author Walter Mosley chatted at the flagship Shwartzman Building on Fifth Avenue in a conversation about writing, craft and music.
The It's a Mystery to Me podcast with Stacy Verdick Case welcomed Edgar Award winning author Lori Roy to discuss her latest release Let Me Die In His Footsteps.
Anthony nominee Brian Panowich (Bull Mountain) and his tour partner author J. Todd Scott (The Far Empty) stopped by Authors on the Air to discuss their latest work.
Noir on the Radio presented Dames in the Dark, a no-holds-barred flash fiction throw down, hosted by Greg Barth and featuring Vicki Hendricks, Dharma Kelleher, Amanda Gowin, and S.L.Coney.
If you're a fan of true crime stories, check out Mashable's list of "nine true-crime podcasts you should listen to now."