Kenneth Branagh to Direct & Star in “Murder on the Orient Express” Remake

As we announced about a week ago, Shakespearean director Kenneth Branagh would be receiving the Dilys Powell Award at the London Critics’ Circle in 2016. It seems he that, after Shakespeare and fairy tales and superhero films, he wants to now see if he can remake a classic Oscar-winning film for a new generation successfully. He has recently been signed to direct and star in a remake of the 1974 classic mystery film “Murder on the Orient Express”. Originally a 1934 novel by famed author Agatha Christie, the story centers around a murder on-board the famous train and Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, the character Branagh will play, solving the case with a train full of possible suspects.

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Branagh does seem to do well working both in front of and behind the camera on the same project.

The film was adapted into a wildly successful 1974 film with Albert Finney starring as Poirot.  It ended up being nominated for six Academy Awards, with Ingrid Bergman — portraying a Swedish missionary — winning her third Oscar, her first in the Best Supporting Actress category. It also featured an all-star supporting cast of suspects including Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Colin Blakely, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave and Michael York.

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It was pretty awesome.

In making the remake, Hilary Strong brokered the deal with Fox on behalf of Agatha Christie LTD. Strong will executive produce along with James Prichard. Fox seems to be bringing on all their most popular filmmakers to help with it. It’s being produced by Ridley Scott (Director of “Alien” and “Prometheus”), Simon Kinberg (Co-writer of “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “Edge of Tomorrow”) along with Mark Gordon and Branagh himself. Also, Michael Schaefer and Aditya Sood will produce in some capacity as well.

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Engineer: “We confess! It was us! We hid on another planet in hopes of hiding our crime! We killed those people with a convoluted plot of developing our biological weapons against humanity!!! Well done Detective, well done!!!”

All that else is know is Michael Green, whorecently wrote “Blade Runner 2”, is writing the screenplay, with Steve Asbell overseeing the whole production for Fox.

I don’t know whether to be excited or not. Branagh showed with this…

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That he can take a past developed story and re-imagine it from a new perspective. However, his only recent attempt at mystery was “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” which was a solid film, but not exceptional. I hope that with such a wide palette of creative forces behind it he can find a grand direction to take it in…as long as Scott doesn’t bring in Damon Lindelof. Otherwise Branagh will be just fine.

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Branagh: “Lindelof, you come near my work and I will leave a pretty clean cut protest on you. And trust me…it won’t take two hours of philosophical dribble to figure out what I did.”