Rowan Atkinson to return as Maigret in ITV's Night At The Crossroads
Rowan Atkinson made his debut as Maigret last year.
Rowan Atkinson is returning for a new film in the Maigret series, promising it will be “richer” than the character’s previous two outings.
The Mr Bean star made his debut as French detective Jules Maigret last year, following in the footsteps of actors including Charles Laughton, Bruno Cremer and Michael Gambon.
He is now returning as the pipe-smoking detective in ITV’s Night At The Crossroads.
Adapted from the novel by Georges Simenon, the film is set in 1950s Paris and is a “complex tale of murder, deceit and greed in an isolated country community”.
It sees Maigret investigating after the body of a diamond merchant is discovered in a car.
Rowan, 62, said of reprising the role: “He has come on quite a bit since the first and second film.
“The third film, Night At The Crossroads, is different again. Helped, I think, by the story. The story of Night At The Crossroads is richer.”
The star said his own performance was boosted by that of the supporting cast.
“Like Poirot and many detective stories like it, you rely very much on the strength of the supporting cast and the guest cast,” he said.
“That was certainly what we enjoyed hugely in the previous films with David Dawson, Fiona Shaw and people like that.
“And then in this one with Kevin McNally as Inspector Louis Grandjean, Danish actress Mia Jexen as Else and German actor Tom Wlaschiha, who plays Carl Andersen. They were all absolutely excellent.
“All these things help and it doesn’t half improve your own performance when you’re acting with a very good performance from somebody else.”
Aiden McCardle, Shaun Dingwall, Lucy Cohu and Leo Starr are also among the cast.
Night At The Crossroads will be followed by another film in the series, Maigret In Montmartre, later this year.
Rowan appeared in two Maigret films last year, Maigret Sets A Trap and Maigret’s Dead Man.
Executive producer John Simenon said he was “extremely pleased” by the reaction to the comedian’s take on the character.
He said: “In the UK, most people were discovering a new character because the last time they had an opportunity to see a Maigret on TV was more than 20 years ago with Michael Gambon.
“My concern was not a comparison between the two, but one between Rowan Atkinson and Mr Bean. The reaction was very positive and the public mostly recognised Rowan for what he is: A great Maigret.”