Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg and Mark Gordon are producing the detective movie for 20th Century Fox
Fresh off the global success of Disney’s “Cinderella,” Kenneth Branagh is in discussions to direct an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” for 20th Century Fox, multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.
A representative for 20th Century Fox declined to comment.
Ridley Scott of Scott Free and Simon Kinberg of Genre Films are producing with Mark Gordon. Michael Green, who wrote the new “Blade Runner” movie for Scott, is adapting Christie’s 1934 detective novel.
The story follows gifted detective Hercule Poirot as he investigates the murder of an American tycoon aboard the titular train. Should Branagh sign on, he and his producers are expected to assemble an A-list cast for the movie.
Previously adapted for the screen in 1974, “Murder on the Orient Express” starred Albert Finney as Poirot, as well as Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave and Michael York. The film earned six Oscar nominations and Bergman won for her supporting performance. There was also a 2001 TV adaptation that aired on CBS.
Since making his mark with a series of Shakespeare adaptations, Branagh has gravitated toward more populist fare including Marvel’s “Thor,” Paramount’s “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” and Disney’s live-action “Cinderella,” which has grossed more than $530 million worldwide. Shakespeare will always remain near and dear to Branagh, whose theater company starts its inaugural season at London’s Garrick Theatre this fall with a new production of “The Winter’s Tale.”
Branagh is represented by WME, Troika and Berwick & Kovacik.