Sir Kenneth Branagh is no stranger to literary adaptations in his capacity as a director. He’s done Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Anthony Shaffer’s Sleuth, Marvel’s Thor, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, and, of course, his six Shakespeare adaptations with a seventh on the way in the form of Macbeth produced by Martin Scorsese. But, he can now add the work of one of the great authors of all time to his resume of film adaptations as he’s been tapped to direct Ridley Scott’s production of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.
This is one of the most no-brainery of choices ever; you have a movie based on a novel (and play) in which a whole group of people are in one location (in this case the titular Orient Express) directed by one of the best actors and directors of actors we’ve got going right now. Christie and Branagh; it’s a seriously great pairing you’d think would have happened already. And, maybe if this movie does well, Branagh will make some more Poirot movies. Or at least let Alan Taylor do the sequel.
No cast has been announced yet, or even, you know, cast, but surely Branagh and Scott are on the lookout for the most A-list of people for their adaptation. The multi-Oscar-winning 1974 production had Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman (who won Best Supporting Actor), Jacqueline Bisset, Sean Connery, Anthony Perkins, and Vanessa Redgrave as passengers with Albert Finney as the famed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Maybe Branagh himself will play Poirot? That might be the one thing that could make this great idea even greater.
Let us know what you think of Branagh tackling Christie (non-violently, of course) in the comments below!