Add Willem Dafoe’s name to the starry cast assembled for 20th Century Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express.
Deadline has the scoop, confirming that Dafoe, who will soon be appearing across The Great Wall and next year’s solo Aquaman movie, has landed the role of Gerhard Hardman, a passenger on board the titular vessel who is actually working as an undercover sleuth. That makes him indispensable to one Hercule Poirot, Kenneth Branagh’s lead detective tasked with solving the most puzzling of cases while aboard the titular Orient Express in its journey from Istanbul to Paris.
Based on the cherished 1934 novel by Agatha Christie – first adapted by Sidney Lumet during the ’70s – Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express is an investigation which involves a motley crew of Hollywood talent: Johnny Depp, The Force Awakens breakout Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Josh Gad, Judi Dench, Michael Pena, Leslie Odom and Lucy Boynton.
On the other side of the lens, Kenneth Branagh is set to direct having been attached to the project for a number of years. His unwavering commitment looks to have been suitably rewarded, thanks to the starry ensemble that 20th Century Fox has brought together. Of course, an enviable cast is nothing without a compelling story, but at least based on Christie’s original work, Branagh and Co. will have plenty of mystery and intrigue to toy with.
Featuring a script penned by screenwriter Michael Green (Blade Runner 2049), Murder on the Orient Express is expected to pull into theaters nationwide on November 22, 2017 – just after Dafoe’s debut as Vulko in Warner’s Justice League movie, no less.