Kenneth Branagh in Talks to Direct Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’



  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    Films have to stretch things out to make it pay, I know it isn't a Book but the Play Stepping Out is a case in point, the play just sticks with the Dance Class but The Film had lots of Background, I much prefer the Play.
  • Tommy, I disagree with you. quite often a film will actually contract, remove characters and scenes, to make the story more compact. E.G. in "Appointment with death", aside from changing the scenes (Koumeran and Jerusalem instead of Petra and Amman - a change necessiated by the fact that is was produced by an Israeli Jew at the time when relationship between Israel and Jordan was not cordial), The last scene - a reunion, 5 years later, which neatly ties up the loose ends, is completely omitted, The french doctor does not appear in the movie, though he is central in the book (and ends up probably engaged or married to the youngest daughter), This is typical of movies, where you watch the movie at one sitting and can't go back and forth to check who is that unfamiliar character, or where does the action of this chapter take place.
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    Time constraints are a major issue– Alfred Hitchcock one said that "The length of a movie should be directly proportional to the size of the audience's bladder."  A television miniseries (which can be several hours) can include more than a movie (which is usually between ninety minutes and two and a half hours, three-hour-or-more movies are considered long, and many studios try to avoid longer films since that means that fewer showing can be arranged during the day in theaters).  Note the BBC radio adaptations of Christie's books– many of them contain almost every plot point in two and a half hours, whereas an eighty-five minute movie cuts a lot.
  • MichelaMichela Lombardia, Italy
    Well, if it is going to happen, I'm curious about it. Very curious. 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    So Am I
  • Oh gosh, is Kenneth Brannagh going to actually play Poirot does it say today online?
  • I believe the whole point in redoing classics  is to get a new audience interested in the work. Nowadays there's a whole new set of actors with a large audience following. And there's more money for the publishers or whoever owns copyrights if they can get this done.

    Suchet's version of Murder on the Orient Express should not be compared with Lumet's. It had a nice budget but it was hardly as large as the budget of a Hollywood movie, starring all those big movie stars. So there's no real comparison to be made.

    Today, just look at what Sherlock on TV has done for the legend of Sherlock Holmes. Giving it over to a new, young audience that is absolutely  enraptured with it. This will ensure that the work of Sir Conan Doyle will go on to the next generation. The producers of this TV show put it in the 21st century but they have stayed to the parameters and specifications of the original character. So they've done a wonderful job with it.

    People who love Agatha Christie should want all her work to be in front of the public as much as possible. This is a great opportunity to keep Murder on the Orient Express current in the minds of the public.

    But I do agree that it won't be able to come up to the Lumet version. However, you'd be surprised how many people will go and see it, who have never seen the Lumet version. They will go because they want to see some current actor/actress; or just because they have nothing better to do and want  to see a movie .

    But in any case they're all going to be exposed to Agatha, and her legacy will benefit from this. And that's what we all want, isn't it?

  • cujas, I agree with you. First of all, the exposure of a younger generation to the stories is important in itself. And secondly, for the most part, Kenneth Branagh is very particular about script and directing, so chances are that whether the new movie is more or less faithful to the original, it will be good.
  • MarcWatson-GrayMarcWatson-Gray Dundee City, United Kingdom
    The recent BBC adaptation of Tommy and Tuppence.......Is a warning that not all exposure is good exposure
  • I agree, Marc. I think that, perhaps, some fans would feel that there are shades, and angles that could be brought out based on a sympathetic reading of the novels, and that that would be good, but sometimes it seems like the directors haven't actually found the novels thrilling, and that's why they've decided to add bits in to improve them. It's like on X Factor when they put on the full orchestras, and choirs and break dancers to make an artist look good; yeah, well these are amateurs: it's understandable. But if a director thought they had to do all that treatment for Rod Stewart,  Michael Buble or Rihanna, or some other quality act, it would be quite ridiculous, because they obviously don't need hype. We'll have to see if the 'improvements' on Boxing Day are aimed at dramatising, or if there is some modernist revisionism going on whereby they try to give some back story, social/economic justifications for characters' past life 'offending' which would be out of kilter with AC's firm belief in good and evil, moral strength, and moral failing.   
  • Marc, I haven't had a chance to see the new Tommy and tuppence, but I had a similar attitude, as yours, toward the Geraldine McEwan--Miss Marple.

    What I said about Sherlock would go for any Christie work as well. You have to stay within certain parameters and specifications according to the original characterizations. Although you do have some room for literary or cinematic license.

    What I objected to about the McEwan productions was that they tried to deconstruct the original character of Miss Marple, and they had no respect for the original plot line. I have the impression  that they viewed Miss Marple as  old -fashioned, outdated-- they were trying to  jazz it up.

    So Marc, there's a lot of validity in what you're saying.

  • MarcWatson-GrayMarcWatson-Gray Dundee City, United Kingdom
    Thanks cujas. I agree with you re: Miss Marple (Geraldine McEwan) In as much as i admired her work.In "By The Pricking Of My Thumbs" she was almost a comical character.That said.Maybe in time we may feel differently as i love Margaret Rutherfords' Miss Marple....................
  • Marc, I'm not English so I haven't had an opportunity to ever see Margaret Rutherford. But I've heard so much about her and what a classic comedienne she was.

     I find that rather strange because I've seen just about every classic American film there is. And there were so many British actors and actresses who came over in the 19 thirties and forties that I thought maybe I had should have seen her in something. Do you know if she ever came to Hollywood?

    The only time I ever saw her at all was in a preview  for the VIPS, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the 1960s. That must have been maybe just before her death.
  • MarcWatson-GrayMarcWatson-Gray Dundee City, United Kingdom
    I think that she mostly did British movies.And i believe that Agatha Christie was not too thrilled of her portrayal of Miss Marple,but came to respect her after getting to know her.Margaret's early life was quite traumatic (if i am correct) Her father had a breakdown and murdered her Grandfather then committed suicide himself.
    Although her portrayal of Miss Marple is far from the MM that we read in books,(the movies differ greatly from the books also ) she is a joy to watch
  • AnubisAnubis Ontario, Canada
    I quite agree, Marc. I love her movies. Interesting that AC's books can be adapted in so many ways, from broad comedy to serious drama to exciting adventure.
  • StuartBarnettStuartBarnett Connecticut, United States
    If only he hadn't directed Thor....I'd be more sanguine about the prospect...
  • AgathasmykidAgathasmykid British Columbia, Canada
    Cujas, if you get the channel TCM (Turner Classic Movies), they seem air the Rutherford Marple movies a couple of times a year.  The first two in the series are pretty good.

    I am fine with another movie in that I like the idea of introducing new fans to Christie's legacy, I just wonder if doing a big screen version of And then there were None would have been better for the first movie.  I think an assemble cast would have made it great, and I think ATTWN is slightly more well known to the general audience.
  • ginestraginestra Lombardia, Italy
    ..why not? The way of acting...directing  has changed . I will be watching the new one with curious eyes  without looking back...
  • HTB1996HTB1996 Stoke-on-Trent, England
    I too understand people's worries. I would like to see a film version of one of her detective-less stories, such as Death Comes As The End, which has never been adapted at all. I'm sure it would be very popular and work well.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I would like to see a Film of most of ACs work just not the one proposed, a new version of a Bundle book or Sparkling Cyanide or even a MM would be great especially if it was A Murder Is Announced as long as whichever one was done was done properly and set in the Country it should be
  • Linnet RidgewayLinnet Ridgeway Davao City, Philippines
    I can't imagine him as Hercule Poirot at the moment.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    Nor can I Bouc Yes, Ratchett Yes, not Poirot.
  • Kenneth Branagh has done some great work, particularly in his Shakespeare adaptations such as Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing. But with Murder On The Orient Express, I don't know where he will go with this but I think he's better off to have someone else play Poirot rather than playing the role himself. 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    He would be better off doing And Then There Were None there is lots of scope for Scenes which only alluded to in the Book but the BBC has just done that, He could do Cards On The Table
  • AgathasmykidAgathasmykid British Columbia, Canada
    Any updates on this project?  I checked IMDB and found very little info on it.
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    @AgathasmykidMOTOE is in pre-production, and more information will hopefully be announced very soon.
  • TuppenceTuppence City of London, United Kingdom
    As soon as we have more information, we will share it with you.
  • AgathasmykidAgathasmykid British Columbia, Canada
    edited September 2016
    Hi everyone, just saw this today;

    Johnny Depp has joined the cast but there is more information at the link as well. Filming apparently starts in November.  I am actually starting to get excited about this. Its been awhile since we have had a Christie movie on the big screen.
  • Hang on a minute, why is it your good self who is kindly telling us this, Agathasmykid? It is brilliant that you are, but I had thought the moderators had said that they would be keeping fans ahead of the game with regular posts, as and when news on the new productions was firm enough to tell us. They much get the information before the press, given that the estate has a guiding hand in steering the course of the filming.

    Well, Johnny Depp won't be featuring for very long - only a few scenes. But i'm sure that we all are getting a really good feel about this production, given the quality of the casting.
  • TuppenceTuppence City of London, United Kingdom
    Yes @Griselda we intended to, but it isn't always possible to get the news out as speedily as the press over the pond.

    What does everyone think of the cast so far?
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