Kenneth Branagh both directs and stars in “Murder on the Orient Express,” 20th Century Fox’s upcoming remake of the Oscar-winning 1974 film based on the Agatha Christie crime classic. He plays the portly Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, who must solve a killing that takes place on a snowbound luxury train.
The studio has put “Orient Express” on the award track, scheduling it for Nov. 10. The cast already boasts a slew of kudos among them with the suspects including Oscar winners Judi Dench and Penelope Cruz; Emmy winner Derek Jacobi; and Tony winner Leslie Odom. Also on board are Oscar nominees Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, and Michelle Pfeiffer; Emmy nominee Olivia Colman; and Tony nominee Josh Gad; as well as recent “Star Wars” sensation Daisy Ridley.
Sidney Lumet‘s 1974 film featured an equally starry cast. The critically acclaimed box office smash was nominated for six Oscars: Best Actor (Albert Finney), Best Supporting Actress (Ingrid Bergman), Best Adapted Screenplay (Paul Dehn), Best Cinematography (Geoffrey Unsworth), Best Original Score (Richard Rodney Bennett), and Best Costume Design (Tony Walton). In the film’s only win, Bergman earned her third Oscar for her performance in the film as the missionary; Cruz is playing that part this time around.
This is not Branagh’s first time playing a famous literary detective. He earned an Emmy nomination in 2009 for playing Swedish crimesolver Kurt Wallander in the “Wallander” TV mysteries on PBS. And Branagh knows his way around directing a beloved story, having helmed film versions of everything from Shakespeare (“Hamlet,” “Henry V”) to fairy tales (Disney’s live-action “Cinderella” in 2015) to comic books (Marvel’s “Thor”). He has earned Oscar nominations in five different categories: Best Director (“Henry V,” 1989), Best Actor (“Henry V,” 1989), Best Live-Action Short (“Swan Song,” 1992), Best Adapted Screenplay (“Hamlet,” 1996) and Best Supporting Actor (“My Week with Marilyn,” 2011).
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