It seems that Julian Fellowes’ career is in no danger whatsoever of slowing down at the moment. After all but single-handedly bringing millions of viewers back to ITV1 with last year’s Downton Abbey, The Independent now have it that he will be penning the script for a feature film version of Agatha Christie’s Crooked House to be released next year.

The novel is,

“based in London in the autumn of 1947. The narrator, Charles Hayward, is told by his fiancée Sophia that she cannot marry him until the killer of her grandfather, who has been poisoned, is found.”

Christie, whose work has been popular for more than half a century with the fame of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, described Crooked House as one of her two favourite works she had written, and Fellowes is a big fan of her work, having discovered her in his teenage years.

It seems that there is nothing the Academy Award-winning screenplay writer of Gosford Park cannot do. He is an actor, a writer for both film and television, a director, and was even recently made a member of the House of Lords at the start of the year.

Whilst Fellowes has said that he is first and foremost dedicated to getting the second series of the incredibly successful Downton Abbey finished, he will then be looking to get the script for Crooked House written. The film will be directed by American director Neil LaBute, who has directed some of Hollywood’s biggest names – Samuel L. Jackson (Lakeview Terrace), Nicolas Cage (The Wicker Man), Morgan Freeman and Renée Zellweger (Nurse Betty), and Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart (Possession).

With such a pairing of great minds, it seems very reasonable to expect the project will be a big success. Some have said in recent years that Christie’s work has by now become somewhat dated, but I think the writing of Fellowes and the direction of LaBute certainly has the potential to return to mid-/post-war England with a refreshing perspective.