'The Thursday Murder Club' Completes Cast as Netflix Boards Film

Celia Imrie as Celia in "Calendar Girls'

Celia Imrie as Celia in "Calendar Girls'

Touchstone Pictures

TV host Richard Osman's debut novel, The Thursday Murder Club, became a pandemic hit in the U.K. in September 2020. He's since released three more in the series, the last of which hit the New York Times best-seller list. Various attempts at a movie have been in development since the first novel was a hit, with Steven Speilberg snapping up the rights, but this is a British novel set in the U.K., and a British cast and director make the most sense. So when a British-produced film was announced in April 2024, with three of the cast's four central characters cast with A-list British actors, fans were not surprised.

However, that was not all that was in store. Within days, Netflix announced it was boarding the project, seeing the multi-film franchise as a perfect project to get in on the ground floor, and hopefully guaranteeing a sequel based on the follow-up novel The Man Who Died Twice, if not films for The Bullet That Missed and The Last Devil to Die as well.

As for the first novel, it begins in the luxurious Cooper's Chase retirement village in Kent where four pensioners, Elizabeth Best, Ron Ritchie, Joyce Meadowcroft, and Ibrahim Arif, strike up a friendship and decide to entertain themselves by doing "live murder mystery" parlor games on Thursdays. However, when an actual suspicious death occurs among the residents, with the passing of a property developer, the four start putting their skills to use in solving real crimes. Elizabeth, Ron, and Ibrahim's casting were set before the film was confirmed. With filming set to begin in June 2024, Osman has now confirmed Joyce Meadowcroft will be played by actor Celia Imrie (The Diplomat).

Here's the film's current logline:

The story follows a group of geriatric friends in a retirement home who gather to solve murders for fun, but find themselves caught in a real case.

Imrie joins Helen Mirren (The Queen) as Elizabeth Best, Pierce Brosnan (James Bond) as Ron Richie, and Ben Kingsley (The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar) as Ibrahim Arif. Christopher Columbus, best known in the U.S. for directing the first two Harry Potter films, will adapt Osman's novel and direct. Filming is slated to begin at the end of June 2024. Steven Spielberg's Amblin Pictures is producing. 

The Thursday Murder Club does not yet have a release date, but with Netflix now on board, it's a good bet we'll see the film arrive in 2025. Osman's fifth novel in the series, which does not yet have a title, is also due out in 2025.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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