In Hollywood, great ideas come in pairs. Antz and A Bug's Life. Armageddon and Deep Impact. The Illusionist and The Prestige. Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down. I could go on. The history of "twin films" is a long one, but who knew that, of all the ideas in high demand right now, dueling biopics about the Grande Dame of Crime would be one of them? But that's exactly what's happening right now: according to The Hollywood Reporter, Alicia Vikander and Emma Stone are both in talks to star as Agatha Christie in separate movies about the revered author's life.
Per THR, the competing projects come from Sony and Paramount. The former studio's film, Agatha Christie, would feature the Oscar-winning star of The Danish Girl as "a proto-feminist Christie uninterested in a traditional wife role (instead she intersects with the likes of Sherlock Holmes writer Arthur Conan Doyle and Winston Churchill)." The latter's film, titled simply Agatha, would feature the Oscar-nominated star of Birdman in a "story postulating what happened to Christie during the 11 days she went missing in 1926."
So which actress will make the better Agatha Christie? Both seem like odd choices to play the Guinness World Record holder for best-selling author of all time. (If you haven't read any of her books, do yourself a favor and pick up And Then There Were None. Or Murder On The Orient Express. Or Death On The Nile. Or The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd. Or any of her 66 page-turning detective novels, really.) Dame Agatha was British and is most recognizable as an older woman with tightly-coifed grey hair. On the other hand, both Stone and Vikander are 27 years old; one is American and the other is Swedish.
It's tempting to say that the European actress will play the better Christie, with her auburn hair and patrician features; Vikander certainly looks the part more than the pale, red-headed Stone. (Not to mention that Stone is currently a decade younger than Christie was when she disappeared in 1926 at the age of 36.) But a wig and an accent and some makeup can do wonders, and it's impossible to really say who will do the Grande Dame justice before the biopics hit the big screen. Besides, Stone already has experience playing an author, thanks to The Help.
However, I will say that biopics that shed light on their subject by focusing on one formative event in their life generally tend to be more successful than biopics that try to cram an entire career into one two-hour movie. (Think Lincoln and its focus on the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment or Selma and its focus on the voting rights marches of 1965 as two recent examples.) For that reason, Paramount's film about the mysterious 11 day period in Christie's life immediately sounds like the more interesting of the two films.
Of course, there's no guarantee that both of these biopics will end up getting made… or even one of them. THR points out that both studios have yet to actually secure the rights to Christie's life from her notoriously stingy estate — "no easy task considering it took Fox seven years to gain approval to make [Murder On The] Orient Express" (their upcoming remake starring Angelina Jolie). But hopefully both Sony and Paramount do end up securing the rights so we can watch these two Academy Award-caliber actresses duke it out on the big screen. Of course, if that doesn't end up happening, somebody should make it up to us by casting Vikander and Stone in a movie together. Please?
Images: Getty Images (2); Kadeen Griffiths/Bustle