Kenneth Branagh Boards the Murder on the Orient Express Movie

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Kenneth Branagh will headline Murder on the Orient Express.

Kenneth Branagh will both direct and star in 20th Century Fox’s upcoming Murder on the Orient Express movie

Five-time Academy Award nominee Kenneth Branagh will direct for 20th Century Fox a new Murder on the Orient Express movie, adapting Agatha Christies’ acclaimed mystery novel. The announcement was made today by TCF president Emma Watts. 

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. In addition to directing the Murder on the Orient Express movie, Branagh will star as detective Poirot.

Branagh’s directing credits include the Oscar-nominated Henry V, the blockbuster comic book adaptation Thor and the recent global hit Cinderella. Branagh currently co-directs and appears onstage as Leontes in William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, which also will be live broadcast to theatres on November 26; and he co-directs and co-stars in Terrence Rattigan’s Harlequinade, which launches the yearlong theater season for the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company at the Garrick Theatre in London.

“The extraordinary thing about my Great Grandmother’s stories is just how timeless they are and how perfectly they lend themselves to the cinematic experience,” says James Prichard, Chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd and Agatha Christie’s Great Grandson. “Eighty years after the publication of the novel, Fox and its creative team will bring ‘Murder on the Orient Express,’ a classic Christie tale, to new audiences across the world. We are genuinely excited about this partnership and with 33 Poirot stories to be told, we look forward to this being the first of many collaborations.”

“We have been working with the fantastic team at Fox for some time now and could not be happier with the creative talent that they have brought together for this wonderful project,” says Hilary Strong, Chief Executive Officer at Agatha Christie Ltd. “Michael Green has crafted a brilliant script, full of the essence of Agatha Christie and the mischief and brilliance of Hercule Poirot and I cannot think of a better director or actor to bring that script and character to light than Kenneth Branagh. We have also been delivered an amazing team of producers – Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott and Mark Gordon – and I have no doubt that the alchemy of this extraordinary group of talented individuals and Agatha Christie’s brilliant story and character will create a cinematic feast that is truly memorable.”

Ridley Scott (The Martian), Simon Kinberg (The Martian, X-Men: Days of Future Past), Mark Gordon (Steve Jobs) and Branagh will produce the Murder on the Orient Express movie. Michael Schaefer and Aditya Sood will also produce in some capacity. Michael Green (Blade Runner 2) is writing the screenplay, with Steve Asbell overseeing the production for Fox. James Prichard and Hilary Strong will both executive produce.

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