Majority ownership from the estate of the most prolific writer from the United Kingdom has been purchaced by Acorn Media Group, a Maryland-based company. Agatha Christie Limited has sold the rights to the characters created by the literary sleuth, including Miss Jane Marple and Hercule Poirot; plus great works such as And Then There were None, Murder Most Foul, Witness for the Prosecution, Evil Under the Sun, Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, and The Mousetrap.
Agatha Christie’s books have sold more than 2 billion copies. They still continue to sell amazingly well, long after the author’s death in 1976. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time. Her estate had claimed that her works rank third, behind those of William Shakespeare and The Bible, as the most widely published books. According to Index Translationum, Christie is the most translated individual author, with only the collective corporate works of Walt Disney Productions surpassing her.
The upside to the negotiated agreement… Hollywood studios and Broadway producers may find it easier to acquire use of the writer’s work on this side of the pond. Notable actors as Charles Laughton, C. Aubrey Smith, Tyrone Power, Margaret Rutherford, Albert Finney, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, Lauren Bacall, Bette Davis, and Peter Ustinov have portrayed characters based on the scribe’s pen-to-paper.
Ironically, while Agatha Christie was alive, she never lived more than a few miles from her birthplace. Her last known residence was in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England.
London-based Chorion announced the deal on Wednesday.
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