All Aboard the Orient Express as Sir Kenneth Branagh Takes the Lead
Over the years, there have been countless adaptations of one of Agatha Christie’s most well-known mysteries, Murder of the Orient Express. But none, it seems, is as star-studded as Sir Kenneth Branagh’s (Gilderoy Lockhart) upcoming adaptation of the work. Christie’s books still sell around the world in their thousands, and there is an ever-ready audience for a mystery story, with Christie’s work well entrenched in popular culture, from Doctor Who to countless adaptations, and J.K. Rowling has previously spoken on Christie’s influence on her own writing.
Most famously on British TV, Christie’s detective has been portrayed by David Suchet, but Branagh is taking on the role for the big screen, as well as that of the director. The film boasts a bunch of well-known names, including Fantastic Beasts’s Johnny Depp (Grindelwald), Daisy Ridley (Star Wars), Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton), Dame Judi Dench, Sir Derek Jacobi, Josh Gad (Beauty and the Beast) – the list goes on!
The cast graces the cover of the latest Entertainment Weekly in the US, providing an exciting first look at the film, and you can see them all in costume below, including Branagh with his marvelous Poirot mustache! But that’s not all!
In the course of the Murder on the Orient Express marketing campaign, a number of clues will be featured in trailers, on posters, even during TV appearances by the movie’s talent. These small clues will implicate a new suspect in the murder investigation, leading to discoverable content about each character through the campaign. While the actual mystery will never be solved during the campaign, each clue will provide a secret window into the mysterious lives of our rich and intriguing characters.
Branagh doesn’t want to stop with Murder on the Orient Express – he told the magazine that he’d be keen to fill the shoes of the famous detective again.
I would be thrilled, I must say. I have enjoyed it enormously, to delve into the nature of the character, to read more of the books, to understand, to admire with greater intensity what Agatha Christie’s talents were. That’s been really a great, great creative treat. So I’d be absolutely delighted to do more, yeah.
Additional comments from Branagh and screenwriter Michael Green indicate that this film would set up a continuation nicely. “[T]here’s a kind of action man-quality to him,” Branagh noted, while Green remarked that this version of Poirot is “still honing his craft. Though he might be the world’s greatest detective, he’s not the greatest detective he’ll be.” That certainly sounds like a series character arch in the making!
Murder on the Orient Express is released in theaters on November 10 in the US. You can read more about the film in the latest edition of Entertainment Weekly.
What do you think of Branagh’s look as Poirot? Does it fit in with your idea of Poirot or not? Are you looking forward to this adaptation? Let us know in the comments.