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In the Works: John Madden Set to Direct Whodunit Comedy 'Murder Mystery,' Charlize Theron in Talks to Produce and Star

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood June 13, 2012 at 3:43PM

John Madden's "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" recently crossed the $100 million mark worldwide. In the wake of this phenomenal success, Madden will direct revisionist Agatha Christie-style thriller-comedy "Murder Mystery," from a script by John Vanderbilt. Charlize Theron is producing under her Denver and Delilah Productions banner, along with Endgame and Tower Hill, and is in talks to take the film's starring role.
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Charlize Theron

John Madden's "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" recently crossed the $100 million mark worldwide. In the wake of this phenomenal success, Madden will direct revisionist Agatha Christie-style thriller-comedy "Murder Mystery," from a script by John Vanderbilt. Charlize Theron is producing under her Denver and Delilah Productions banner, along with Endgame and Tower Hill, and is in talks to take the film's starring role.

Theron has been working hard of late, landing high-profile roles in "Young Adult," "Snow White and the Huntsman" and "Prometheus." But she could use a break-out hit that establishes her as a marquee draw.

Madden's gastro-heavy description of the film: "Set in the exotic reaches of Mediterranean Europe, James Vanderbilt’s script is a mouthwatering and hilarious take on the classic whodunit, weaving comedy, action, and mystery around an irresistible core: an American couple abroad. It honors the genre while stretching its assumptions in delicious, surprising and intoxicating ways."

Production is slated to start in the first quarter of 2013.

This article is related to: John Madden, Charlize Theron, Endgame, Tower Hill, James Vanderbitl, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.