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First Look: Maigret Sets a Trap

Maigret Sets A Trap features the legendary French fictional detective Jules Maigret, played by the globally-renowned actor Rowan Atkinson.

The formidable character of Jules Maigret first appeared in print in 1931. Georges Simenon, who wrote 75 Maigret novels, is considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century – selling around a billion books worldwide to date.

In the first film, Maigret Sets A Trap, set in 1955 during a sweltering summer in Paris, the city is gripped with fear as four women are murdered on the streets of Monmartre in a spree of seemingly unconnected attacks. Chief Inspector Maigret is under huge public and professional pressure to find the killer before he strikes again. Maigret sets a trap which ultimately leads to a thrilling climax.

Maigret Sets A Trap will be followed by Maigret’s Dead Man later in the year.

Executive Producer Barnaby Thompson stated: “We wanted to set the drama firmly in Paris of the fifties but to emphasise the modernity of the books, and keep it as real and as visceral as possible. And to put the wonderful, thoughtful compassionate character of Maigret at it’s centre.”

Trailer: Maigret Sets A Trap

John Simenon, son of the author and Executive Producer offered a unique insight into the character and his father:

“My father was not attracted by plot. He was attracted by people. His interest lies in human behaviour and the human soul. There are two short ways to characterise the Maigret novels. One is to say Maigret does not solve crimes but solves people. And the other is to say his stories are not whodunits but whydunits.
Maigret Sets a Trap
That is what I would say defines Maigret in a nutshell: his empathy, his interest for other people. “Maigret is not a hunter like the traditional policeman. All policemen will tell you they are hunters at heart. Maigret is not a hunter, he is an explorer who tries to be, in my father’s words, a “repairer of destinies”.”

This is a stylish, atmospheric and brilliantly acted drama, with a fantastic and perfectly understated leading man. Rowan Atkinson has spoken on his initial rejection of the role, changing his mind a year later:

“The thing I thought I could do was his thoughtfulness. That it’s his ruminative, thoughtful and quite compassionate side, I suppose, which is interesting. Because he’s definitely not an egotist, he’s not a performer, he’s not an eccentric, he’s not a weirdo, he hasn’t really got a bad streak in him.

Maigret’s humanity is important and it’s admirable. It’s enjoyable to watch somebody witness and having to deal with great inhumanity and at the same time they are able to display such compassion to all those involved in these extremely messy and violent situations. He conveys this calm at the centre of sometimes very stormy stories.”

We can’t wait to watch the first Maigret film, coming to our screens on ITV Monday 28th March at 9pm. Will you be watching?

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