Miss Marple is to be given a Hollywood makeover in which her familiar tweeds and knitting needles will be consigned to the scrap-heap, and she will instead be portrayed as by glamorous young woman in her thirties.
Angela Lansbury took over the mantle for the 1980 film The Mirror Crack’d, which featured an all-star cast including Elizabeth Taylor and Kim Novak.
On the small screen Miss Marple has been played by actresses included Gracie Fields, Joan Hickson, Geraldine McEwan and Julia McKenzie. The popular BBC adaptations, starring Hickson, ran from 1984 to 1992.
The casting of Miss Garner, who is married to Hollywood star Ben Affleck, is likely to provoke a debate about ageism and the lack of film roles for veteran actresses.
Miss Garner, who will also produce the new film, previously played a CIA agent in the US television series “Alias.”