‘Ellery Queen’ Will Be A Woman in New Television Adaptation

Ellery Queen Poster
Everett Collection

The famous fictional detective Ellery Queen will be returning to the small screen after 45 years, only this time, as a woman.

Based on the series of books by cousins Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee, Ellery Queen follows a mystery writer in New York City who helps their police inspector father solve baffling murders. Incendo and BlackBox Multimedia have optioned the rights for a new TV adaptation, the first since 1976.

The novels and short stories originally inspired a radio series, several films, and four separate television series made from the 1950s through the 1970s. Queen was written as a male character in the original stories but is set to be reimagined as a woman in the new adaptation. There is no word yet on who will be playing the popular detective.

Ellery Queen is one of the most definitive series of detective fiction to ever be written,” said BlackBox Multimedia CEO and creative director Giuliano Papadia (via Variety). “The stories have been global favorites for a huge part of the 20th and 21st Centuries.”

He continued: “They have fascinating plots, unique characters, and settings you love to get lost in. The team at Incendo are the perfect partners for helping modernize this excellent and timeless series of stories.”

Gavin Reardon, Incendo’s international sales & co-production executive, added, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to develop a new series, based off an already established, globally successful IP. In collaborating with the creative minds at BlackBox Multimedia, we are eager to discover the reimagined version of the novels come to life on screens around the world.”

Where the Boys Are actor Jim Hutton played Queen in NBC’s edition of the series in the 1970s. The role has also been portrayed on television by George Nader, Hugh Marlowe, and Lee Bowman, and in film by William Gargan and Ralph Bellamy.

“When our fathers first sat down to begin the collaboration that would become Ellery Queen, they never would have dreamed that they would then embark on a forty-year journey together or imagined the remarkable success that Ellery Queen would attain,” said Richard Dannay and Rand B. Lee, who represent the Ellery Queen estate.

“All of us in the Lee and Dannay families are thrilled to be working with BBMM and Incendo, which have both been so respectful and admiring of the rich Ellery Queen tradition, in crafting a new chapter on the screen for our shared legacy.”

Ellery Queen, TBA