Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, and David Oyelowo to Star in a Murder Mystery

Cinematic murder mysteries are back in style, and Searchlight Pictures has a new one coming up that we’re very excited about.

Sam Rockwell (Jojo Rabbit, Seven Psychopaths), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird, Little Women), and David Oyelowo (Selma, Interstellar) have signed on to star in an untitled murder mystery set in the 1950s, with Rockwell and Ronan playing partners trying to solve the crime.

Deadline reports the news about the new Sam Rockwell murder mystery, pointing out that Rockwell will be playing the lead character. Here’s how the outlet describes the movie’s plot:

The story is set in 1950s London, a desperate Hollywood film producer sets out to turn a popular West End play into a film. When members of the production are murdered, world-weary Inspector Stoppard (Rockwell) and overzealous rookie Constable Stalker (Ronan) find themselves in the midst of a puzzling whodunit within London’s glamorous Theatreland and sordid underground.

Rockwell as a world-weary detective and Ronan as an eager young rookie? I love that combo, and as a huge fan of Agatha Christie novels and the murder mystery genre as a whole, this untitled thriller is now one of my most anticipated films of the immediate future. No production start date has been slated yet, and there’s no word about who Oyelowo might be playing – I can easily imagine him as the desperate producer, but we’ll have to wait and see.

The film will be directed by Tom George, a filmmaker I’m not familiar with. His most recent credit is on a BBC series called This Country, and last year he directed six episodes of a comedy called Defending the Guilty. The script for the untitled murder mystery hails from Mark Chappell, who wrote The Young Doctor’s Notebook, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, and a short-lived Netflix comedy series called Flaked which starred Will Arnett.

With its blend of the theatre scene and Hollywood aspirations, this project sounds like it could be a cross between 1973’s The Last of Sheila and 1982’s Deathtrap. The former is about a director, writer, actress, producer, and other Hollywood types who gather on a boat and end up playing a devious game in which several of them mysteriously die; the latter is a contained story about a young playwright who writes a brilliant play, but his former mentor tries to steal it and pass it off as his own.

Either way, I’m thrilled about the potential this has and can’t wait to learn more.

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