Phryne Fisher, the most glamorous lady detective ever to scale the wall of a Turkish bathhouse/secret opium ring without ever dropping her impeccable hat, is finally coming back to us. In a movie.
Producers for the cult favorite Australian TV show Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries launched a Kickstarter campaign for a partially fan-funded Miss Fisher movie in 2017. That movie is now completed, and on Tuesday at the Television Critics Association tour, Acorn TV announced that Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears will soon find its way to North America.
The film will have a limited North American theatrical release, and it will also be available for streaming on Acorn TV, a subscription service for British and international television. No release date has yet been set, but Acorn has said that the movie will come out in 2019. It’s also set to come out in Australia at some point this year.
The original run of Miss Fisher aired for three seasons — all of which are now streaming on Netflix — from 2012 through 2015. In Australia, it was a phenomenon, and in the US, it became a cult sensation. As I wrote for Vox in 2017, it’s a James Bond fantasy for women: Phryne’s fabulous outfits are always as immaculate as James Bond’s suits, and she’s just as suave, debonair, and unfailingly competent as 007 is, whether she’s at a gala or a crime scene.
Much of the core cast of the TV show will return for Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears, which follows Phryne on what Acorn TV describes as “a Middle Eastern adventure in search of an ancient treasure.” Star Essie Davis will reprise her role as Phryne; also returning are Nathan Page as ally/love interest Detective Inspector Jack Robinson, Miriam Margolyes as Phryne’s Aunt Prudence, and Ashleigh Cummings as Phryne’s assistant Dot.
Acorn will also be the North American home of the forthcoming Miss Fisher spinoff, Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries. (“Modern” here is relative — the spinoff is set in the ‘60s, as opposed to original flavor Miss Fisher, which takes place in the ’20s.) It features Phryne’s niece, Peregrine Fisher (Geraldine Hakewill), who becomes a brilliant private detective in her own right, and it, too, will premiere later this year.
So no matter what else 2019 has in store for us, at least we’ll all be able to get our fill of glamorous Australian lady detectives.