And Then There Were None is one of Agatha Christie's most famous works -- I reckon Murder on the Orient Express and Witness for the Prosecution are the only other ones as immediately recognizable. It has been the basis for two stage plays, a mini-series, multiple films, and infinite spoof episodes on television (even Family Guy did a season premiere called "And Then There Were Fewer").
|The 1945 film version|
There are three famous film versions, all of which take their queue from Agatha's own stage adaptation. The 1945 version features an all-star cast that includes Academy Award Winners Barry Fitzgerald and Walter Huston, and Academy Award Nominees Mischa Auer, Roland Young and Judith Anderson. It adheres closely to the original work -- they're all English, they're on an island. The next two films would not.
|The 1974 film version|
|The 2015 BBC version|
After the jump...
THE PLAYBOYThe original novel: Anthony Marston, accused of drunkenly killing two children with his car.
The movies: Always sings the nursery rhyme at the piano. Prince Nikita Starloff (Mischa Auer) is accused of killing a couple. Pop star Mike Raven (Fabian). Lounge singer Michel Raven (Charles Aznavour).
I would keep to the pop star aspect, let him sing the song on the piano. And since we're getting international, let's get really international, make him one of those C-pop/K-pop stars, renaming the character Jun Hwaseong.
One of the six members of K-pop group 2PM, born in the United States, of Chinese-Thai heritage. A very international choice.
THE HOUSEKEEPERThe original novel: Ethel Rogers, accused of killing a former employer with her husband.
The movies: The same in the original film with Queenie Leonard. Frau Grohmann (Marianne Hoppe) commits the same crime. Ditto Elsa Martino (Maria Röhm).
In 2016, I'm renaming her Evita Rogelio.
My Choice: Academy Award/Golden Globe/SAG Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actress, SAG Award Nominee for Best Ensemble (Babel)
Adriana Barraza ("The Strain", The 33)
THE GENERALThe original novel: General Macarthur, accused of sending his wife's lover to his death.
The movies: General Sir John Mandrake (C. Aubrey Smith) gets a little dithery when he's accused of the same crime. General Mandrake (Leo Genn) and General Andre Salve (Adolfo Celi) are take-charge types who organize a search party....they are also accused of negligence in their duties, sending their men to their deaths.
In 2016, may I present to you General Jiro Murakami.
My Choice: Academy Award/Golden Globe/SAG Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor (The Last Samurai)
Ken Watanabe (Godzilla, The Sea of Trees)
THE BUTLERThe original novel: Thomas Rogers, who, with his wife, is accused of murdering a former employer.
The movies: The motive never changes, whether his name is Rogers (Richard Haydn), Grohmann (Mario Adorf) or Otto Martino (Alberto de Mendoza). Haydn gets roaring drunk, Adorf gets into a fist fight, and Martino actually tries to make an escape.
In 2016, we meet Evita's husband, Tomas Rogelio.
My Choice: Academy Award/SAG Award Nominee for Best Actor (A Better Life)
Demián Bichir (The Hateful Eight, "The Bridge")
THE WOMANThe original novel: Spinster and religious fanatic Emily Caroline Brent, accused of the death of her young charge.
The movies: Emily Brent (Judith Anderson) is accused of causing her nephew's death. Famous film stars Ilona Bergen (Daliah Lavi) and Ilona Morgan (Stephane Audran) are accused of killing their husbands.
In 2016, she is Italian, older -- a mix of the haughty Emily and the glamorous Ilona. Emilia Baldacci, maybe?
My Choice: Academy Award Winner for Best Actress (Two Women), BAFTA Award Winner for Best Foreign Actress (Two Women), SAG Award Nominee for Best Ensemble (Nine)
Sophia Loren (Marriage Italian Style, Ready to Wear)
THE JUDGEThe original novel: Justice Lawrence Wargrave, accused of sentencing an innocent man to hang.
The movies: Same accusation, new name: Judge Francis J. Quincannon (Barry Fitzgerald), Judge Cannon (Wilfrid Hyde-White), Judge Arthur Cannon (Richard Attenborough)
In 2016 -- still English, but there's no need for this "Cannon" nonsense. I'm bringing back Sir Lawrence John Wargrave.
My Choice: Hollmann Award Nominee for Best Actor (Get Carter, The Man Who Would Be King) and Best Supporting Actor (Zulu), Academy Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor (Hannah and Her Sisters, The Cider House Rules), BAFTA Award Winner for Best Actor (Educating Rita), Golden Globe Winner for Best Actor - Musical/Comedy (Educating Rita, Little Voice), SAG Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor (The Cider House Rules)
Michael Caine (Youth, Going in Style)
THE DOCTORThe original novel: Dr. Edward Armstrong, accused of bringing about the death of a patient due to drunkenness.
The movies: The same, in name and crime, played by Walter Huston, Dennis Price, and Herbert Lom.
In 2016, though, we're giving him a new identity: Dr. Amir Shakti.
My Choice: SAG Award Winner for Best Ensemble (Slumdog Millionaire)
Irrfan Khan (Jurassic World, Inferno)
THE POLICEMANThe original novel: William Henry Blore, a private detective accused of committing perjury to bring about an innocent man's conviction.
The movies: The same, whether he's played by Roland Young, Stanley Holloway, or Gert Fröbe.
In 2016, he'll be Wilhelm Heinrich Blöhr.
My Choice: Academy Award/BAFTA Award/Golden Globe Winner for Best Supporting Actor (Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained), SAG Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor and Best Ensemble (Inglourious Basterds)
Christoph Waltz (Spectre, The Legend of Tarzan)
THE ADVENTURERThe original novel: Captain Philip Lombard, accused of negligence in duty (as with the movie Generals) and causing the deaths of an entire native regiment.
The movies: At first, it's familiar territory with Louis Hayward. Then, he's suddenly Hugh Lombard, accused of the death of a woman who was to bear his child, played by Hugh O'Brian and Oliver Reed.
In 2016...a simple change, French him up, make him Phillippe Lambert.
My Choice: Academy Award/BAFTA Award/Golden Globe/SAG Award Winner for Best Actor (The Artist)
Jean Dujardin (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Connection)
THE SECRETARYThe original novel: Very clearly the heroine of the tale, Vera Claythorne is a former governess accused of the death of her charge.
The movies: Now accused of killing her sister's fiancé, though sometimes she's Vera Claythorne (June Duprez), or Anne Clyde (Shirley Eaton), or Vera Clyde (Elke Sommer)
In 2016, I prefer to have her back to Vera Claythorne.
My Choice: Academy Award/SAG Award Winner/BAFTA Award/Golden Globe Nominee for Best Supporting Actress (12 Years a Slave)
Lupita Nyong'o (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Queen of Katwe)
In some screen versions, there was a celebrity cameo as The Voice on the Tape -- aka, Mr. U.N. Owen. In 1965, it was Christopher Lee; in 1974, it was Orson Welles. And in my version...well, it would have been Alan Rickman, so instead...
My Choice: Hollmann Award Winner for Best Actress (A Touch of Class), Academy Award Winner for Best Actress (Women in Love, A Touch of Class)
GLENDA JACKSON (Mary, Queen of Scots, Hedda)
Who would you cast in And Then There Were None? Comment below!