Helen Mirren, Pierce Brosnan and Ben Kingsley set for Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club film

Starry trio will play a group of retired friends who find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation

Ellie Muir
Tuesday 23 April 2024 16:21 BST
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Richard Osman reveals Queen Elizabeth played Pointless and was 'very competitive'

Richard Osman has announced three of the four leading roles in the film adaptation of his bestselling mystery bookThe Thursday Murder Club.

A-listers Helen Mirren, Pierce Brosnan and Ben Kingsley are set to play the leading characters – a group of friends living in a retirement community who find themselves at the centre of a murder investigation.

Chris Columbus, whose credits include the first two Harry Potter films, as well as Mrs Doubtfire and Home Alone, will be in the director’s chair.

Author and Pointless presenter Osman teased fans with the news on X/Twitter on Tuesday (23 April), writing: “Just been on a call with Amblin, and the cast for #TheThursdayMurderClub movie is insanely great, I think people are going to love it. Official announcements very soon, and can’t wait to share it with everyone.”

Osman then revealed the names of the starry cast who will be playing the crime-solving sleuths, during an episode of his podcast The Rest Is Entertainment, which he hosts with journalist Marina Hyde.

Osman released the book in 2020
Osman released the book in 2020 (Getty Images)

“I’m now allowed to announce that Elizabeth is going to be played by the person people most often shout at me in the street as them wanting to play Elizabeth. So Elizabeth’s going to be played by Helen Mirren,” he said. “It’s very exciting.”

He said that the actor who will play Joyce is still in negotiations.

“Ibrahim is Sir Ben Kingsley. And then for Ron – for people who haven’t the read book he’s a real left-wing, bruiser, ex-trades-union official – is going to be played by the most handsome man in the world, so he’s going to have to dumb himself down a bit. So Ron is going to be played by Pierce Brosnan,” he said.

His co-host Hyde replied: “Oh my god! I can’t wait to see what he does with it.”

The three actors revealed as ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ lead actors: Mirren, Brosnan and Kingsley
The three actors revealed as ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ lead actors: Mirren, Brosnan and Kingsley (Getty Images)

The novel is set in the fictional Kentish town of Fairhaven, where four friends try to solve the mysterious and suspicious murder of a property developer. The 2020 book is the fastest-selling adult crime debut in recorded history, and the fifth book in the series is planned for production next year.

The Thursday Murder Club sold 45,000 copies in its first three days of release. The series has spawned 2021’s The Man Who Died Twice, 2022’s The Bullet That Missed and 2023’s The Last Devil to Die, which have collectively sold more than 10 million copies globally.

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The movie rights were subject to a competitive bidding war, with Amblin Partners winning against 13 other studios.

Osman said that the cast would be filming this summer in England, and teased that more casting announcements will be arriving in coming weeks.

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