Kenneth Branagh Wants An Agatha Christie Movie Universe


We’re living in an age of cinematic universes. Though many of them have failed on the first hurdle – the Dark Universe, The Dark Tower and Power Rangers – studios keep on attempting to kickstart them. Another unlikely one that could be on the horizon now is an Agatha Christie shared universe. Or at least, that’s according to Murder on the Orient Express‘ Kenneth Branagh.

Branagh, who directs himself as the master detective Hercule Poirot in the new murder mystery drama, was speaking to AP News recently when the topic of a potential interconnected franchise came up. The actor/director reacted positively to the idea, citing the sizeable bibliography of the classic author as proof that there’s enough material for many more films:

I think there are possibilities, aren’t there? With 66 books and short stories and plays, she — and she often brings people together in her own books actually, so innately — she enjoyed that. You feel as though there is a world — just like with Dickens, there’s a complete world that she’s created — certain kinds of characters who live in her world — that I think has real possibilities.”

Right now, we know that Murder on the Orient Express is at least spawning one sequel, as was recently announced by 20th Century Fox (assuming that new owners Disney want to continue with it). There’s been no talk of any further installments at present, but Branagh did comment that “I bet they’ve been thinking about it.”

Besides, like the director mentions, there’s more than enough material to create a franchise around his portrayal of the mustachioed mystery man. Poirot featured in 33 novels from Christie, of which only a handful have been adapted to the big screen before. Not to mention her other famous creation, Miss Marple, featured in a further 12 novels. The author also wrote about some other crime-solvers, too – such as married couple Tommy and Tuppence. Maybe we could even have an Agatha Christie Avengers?

Time will tell, but as things stand, Murder on the Orient Express has currently earned $311 million at the box office off a budget of $55 million. As such, it’d be a real shame if this was it for the franchise.