Hercule Poirot may be the greatest detective on the face of the planet, but even he is no match for the curious case of the Murder on the Orient Express.
Lifted from the pages of Agatha Christie’s timeless masterclass, 20th Century Fox and writer-director Kenneth Branagh recently brought us a new and modern take on the iconic thriller, where Branagh took point as the aforementioned Poirot. While aboard the titular, serpentine vessel, our astute lead found himself in the thick of a widespread conspiracy upon discovering that businessman Samuel Edward Ratchett (Johnny Depp) had been murdered in one of the cabins. Cue the speculation.
What followed was a whodunnit of epic proportions, but unfortunately, the film’s enviable cast couldn’t quite save it, as critics slammed the pic, with our own Matt Donato calling it “an antique mystery that chugs along at 5-miles an hour without any turns that might jolt viewers in the slightest.” Ouch!
Still, that hasn’t deterred the studio and we’re learning tonight that they’re pushing forward with a sequel. While there was talk of another outing before Orient Express even pulled into the station, it’s surprising to learn that those plans are still in place, given the mediocre reception the film was met with. As is always the case, though, money talks in Hollywood and a $148 million and counting gross has ensured that Hercule Poirot will be back on the big screen in the not too distant future.
From what we understand, for the sequel, Fox plans on adapting Agatha Christie’s 1937 novel, Death on the Nile, which finds the brilliant investigator “tasked with another murder mystery while on vacation in Egypt.” Kenneth Branagh will return to both direct and reprise his role, while screenwriter Michael Green, who penned the first outing, will be back on scripting duties.
For more information, be sure to check out the official synopsis for Nile below:
“Beloved detective Hercule Poirot embarks on a journey to Egypt in one of Agatha Christie’s most famous mysteries, Death on the Nile.
The tranquility of a cruise along the Nile was shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway had been shot through the head. She was young, stylish, and beautiful. A girl who had everything . . . until she lost her life.
Hercule Poirot recalled an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: “I’d like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.” Yet in this exotic setting nothing is ever quite what it seems.”
At this early, early stage, there’s no information on who else may star or when the sequel will materialize in theaters, but for fans of Murder on the Orient Express, you can rest easy knowing that you haven’t seen the last of Hercule Poirot.