Just when you thought Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express had veered off course, losing Angelina Jolie and any real sense of momentum almost simultaneously, we now have word that Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Michael Pena and Dame Judi Dench have all booked tickets for Fox’s long-gestating redo.
News of Depp and Pfeiffer circling first appeared just yesterday, when the duo were labelled as “names of interest,” by the studio; now, The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline report that both are locked in, headlining a starry ensemble that will soon be bringing a new spin to Agatha Christie’s cherished mystery novel.
Now for a game of who’s who. First up, THR confirms that Depp will play American businessman and tycoon Mr. Ratchett, the man murdered on board the Orient Express on its journey from Istanbul – then known as Constantinople – to Paris, sparking a nerve-wracking investigation headed up by detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh). Michelle Pfeiffer, meanwhile, will assume the role of Mrs. Hubbard, a flamboyant passenger who appears to be masking a secret. Marquez is the Cuban character reserved for Michael Pena.
Beyond that we have Dame Judi Dench as the frankly fantastic-sounding Princess Dragomiroff, a woman who has ties to Russian royalty, while Daisy Ridley’s character, Mary Debenham, will hail from the other end of social strata who falls in love with Doctor Arbuthnot, played here by Broadway star Leslie Odom Jr..
Still with us? Capping things off are Tom Bateman, who is in line to play the Frenchman known as Bouc. Lucy Boynton and Derek Jacobi also star.
Murder on the Orient Express will pull into theaters on November 22, 2017. Production will begin in earnest in London this November.