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Kenneth Branagh to Direct and Star in Agatha Christie Reboot ‘Murder on the Orient Express’

Filmmaker will play detective Hercule Poirot in 20th Century Fox’s new adaptation, from a script by Michael Green (”Blade Runner 2“)

Five-time Academy Award nominee Kenneth Branagh will star as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in a new adaptation of Agatha Christie’s beloved mystery “Murder on the Orient Express” for 20th Century Fox.

He had already been attached to direct the film, as TheWrap exclusively reported in June, from a script by Michael Green (“Blade Runner 2”).

In Christie’s 1934 novel, Poirot is called upon to solve a murder on board the famous train — choosing from a wide array of suspicious passengers.

Steve Asbell will oversee the production for Fox. Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott and Mark Gordon will produce.

James Prichard and Hilary Strong will executive produce.  Strong brokered the deal for Agatha Christie Ltd.

Branagh’s directing credits include the Oscar-nominated “Henry V,” Marvel’s “Thor” and Disney’s recent live-action “Cinderella.”

Branagh currently co-directs and appears on stage as Leontes in William Shakespeare‘s “The Winter’s Tale,” which also will be live broadcast to theaters on Nov. 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,” James Prichard, Chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd and Christie’s great-grandson, said in a statement. “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.”