Kit Harington, of course best known for his role as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, is set to star in a Christmas movie based on the short story Lot No. 249 by Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle.
Deadline reports that Mark Gatiss adapted Lot No. 249 as the latest entry for BBC’s annual series of holiday horror stories, A Ghost Story for Christmas. Harington will play Oxford athlete Abercrombie Smith, who suspects that Egyptology student Edward Bellingham (Freddie Fox) is conducting experiments to reanimate an Egyptian mummy in his possession, the titular Lot No. 249, and sending it to attack his enemies.
“It’s a serious delight for me to delve once again into the brilliant work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this time for the Christmas Ghost story,” Gatiss said. “Lot No.249 is a personal favorite and is the grand-daddy — or should that be Mummy? — of a particular kind of end-of-empire chiller: a ripping yarn packed with ghastly scares and who-knows-what lurking in the Victorian closet.”
Mark Gatiss’ Return to Arthur Conan Doyle Stories
Lot No. 249, which was written in 1892 for Harper’s Magazine, is the second Doyle work Gatiss adapted after Sherlock, which aired on BBC and PBS (in the U.S.) from 2010 to 2017 with Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular detective in modern-day London. It is also Gatiss’ sixth holiday TV film adaptation after The Tractate Middoth (2013), The Dead Room (2018), Martin’s Close (2019), The Mezzotint (2021), and Count Magnus (2022) — four of which were based on the writings of M.R. James.
The short story was written when England and the rest of Europe expressed great interest in Egyptian culture, triggering a phenomenon called Egyptomania. Although undead mummies were seen in English literature, Lot No. 249 was the first piece of literature to introduce the concept of a dangerous killer mummy. The story was also adapted as the leading segment of the 1990 film Tales from the Darkside: The Movie.
Interestingly, it marks a bit of a Game of Thrones reunion as well. Gatiss, also an actor, played Tycho Nestoris in four episodes of the hit HBO fantasy, where his character negotiated with Jon Snow himself.
Lot No. 249 will air on BBC Two this Christmas. It is unknown whether it will be broadcast in North America.
Cristina Alexander is a freelance writer for IGN. To paraphrase Calvin Harris, she wears her love for Sonic the Hedgehog on her sleeve like a big deal. Follow her on Twitter @SonicPrincess15.