Considering Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None is the best-selling mystery novel of all time, it’s a little surprising there hasn’t been an English-language movie adaptation since 1989. That’s about to change, thanks to The Imitation Game’s Morten Tyldum, who was apparently successful in pitching a take that excited the Christie estate enough to hand over film rights to 20th Century Fox.
According to Deadline, Tyldum is a big fan of the 1939 novel, although it’s unclear if his pitch involved changing the book’s content or presenting a faithful adaptation of the story of 10 strangers invited to an isolated island where they are slowly bumped off one by one. It certainly wouldn’t be the first film adaptation to make some adjustments to its source material (not least of all being the novel’s racist original title). Previous versions have set the mystery everywhere from the Austrian mountains to the Iranian desert to the African savannah. Plus, there are two semi-canonical endings floating around—the grim one Christie originally wrote in the novel and the lighter one she created for the stage adaptation.
Tyldum will helm the film while Eric Heisserer has signed on to write the script. Heisserer’s previous work includes thrillers like Final Destination 5, The Thing, and Paul Walker’s Hours, plus the upcoming Amy Adams/Jeremy Renner sci-fi drama Story Of Your Life. That could mean this adaptation will be more spine-chiller than Masterpiece Theater. Or maybe it means the whole thing will take place on a spaceship.