For the second time Budapest will stand in as 1950s Paris for television productions of Belgian writer Georges Simenon’s “Maigret” novels, and this time funnyman Rowan Atkinson will play the fictional French detective.
Atkinson will be in Hungary from September for the shooting of “Maigret Sets a Trap”, adapted from “Maigret Tend Un Piège”, and “Maigret’s Dead Man”, from “Maigret Et Son Mort”. Each will be feature length. The shooting locations have not been disclosed.
Irish-born English actor Michael Gambon filmed 12 television episodes of Maigret in Budapest in 1992 and 1993, and careful viewing revealed that it was the Danube in the background, not the Seine. Another well-used location seemed to be at the corner of District V’s Hold and Bathory streets, the site of the Batthyany Eternal Flame.
Atkinson himself confirmed his role in March, saying he has long been waiting to play the dogged detective with a trademark pipe, so presumably he will act it straight and not in Mr. Bean mode.
The actor celebrated his fiftieth birthday this year. The films have been ordered by ITV, a commercial TV network in the United Kingdom, and are being produced by UK-based Ealing Studios and Maigret Productions.