An all-star cast, led by Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Daisy Ridley, is joining director Kenneth Branagh on 20th Century Fox's new feature film adaptation of Agatha Christie's acclaimed mystery Murder on the Orient Express, it was announced today by TCF president Emma Watts. In addition to directing the film, Branagh, a five-time Academy Award-nominee, will star as detective Hercule Poirot. Depp portrays Ratchett, Pfeiffer is Mrs. Hubbard and Ridley plays Mary Debenham.
Oscar winner Judi Dench portrays Princess Dragomiroff, while Lucy Boynton is Countess Andrenyi. Tom Bateman plays Bouc, acclaimed stage actor and Tony winner Derek Jacobi portrays Masterman, Michael Peņa is Marquez, and Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. plays Doctor Arbuthnot. The ensemble is nearly complete, but there are still a few key roles left to cast. Murder on the Orient Express begins production in November, in London. Here's what director-star Kenneth Branagh had to say in a statement.
"Christie's Murder is mysterious, compelling and unsettling. I'm honored to have this fantastic group of actors bring these dark materials to life for a new audience."
Ridley Scott (The Martian), Simon Kinberg (The Martian, X-Men: Days of Future Past), Mark Gordon (Steve Jobs) and Branagh will produce the film. Michael Schaefer, Aditya Sood and Judy Hofflund will also produce. Michael Green (Blade Runner 2) wrote the screenplay, with Steve Asbell overseeing the production for Fox.
Agatha Christie's novel, published in 1934, is considered one of the most ingenious stories ever devised. It revolves around a murder onboard the famous train, and Belgian detective Hercule Poirot must solve the case - but there are a number of passengers who could potentially be the murderer. James Prichard and Hilary Strong, both of Agatha Christie Ltd., will executive produce. Here's what James Prichard had to say in his statement.
"It is always thrilling for us to see the stellar casting that Agatha Christie film adaptations attract. It is fantastic to have Kenneth Branagh at the helm of this new adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express and we are extremely excited about the cast he is bringing aboard"
Chaired by James Prichard, the author's great grandson, and led by CEO Hilary Strong, Agatha Christie Ltd has been managing Agatha Christie's literary and media rights globally since 1955. Working with the biggest names in film, television, publishing, stage and now digital, ACL ensures that Christie's work continues to reach new audiences in innovative ways and to the highest standard. Current projects include the forthcoming 20th Century Fox feature film adaptation of Agatha Christie's acclaimed mystery, Murder on the Orient Express, which five-time Academy Award nominee Kenneth Branagh will direct and star in as Hercule Poirot. Through its production arm, Agatha Christie Productions, the company has recently produced the acclaimed BBC One adaptation of And Then There Were None starring Sam Neill, Aidan Turner and Charles Dance, and is now in production on The Witness for the Prosecution starring Toby Jones, Kim Cattrall and Andrea Riseborough also for BBC One. In publishing, the company managed the global publication of two new Poirot novels The Monogram Murders (2014) and Closed Casket (released September 2016) both by bestselling crime writer Sophie Hannah.