Angelina Jolie has hopped off Murder on the Orient Express ahead of schedule, after Variety confirmed that the actress-director is no longer attached to star in Kenneth Branagh’s remake.
Strictly speaking, Jolie was never fully on board the detective thriller to begin with, having only entered negotiations two months ago. However, it seems that potential deal failed to leave the station, with Fox now eyeing Fast 8 and Mad Max: Fury Road star Charlize Theron as a replacement.
Michael Green (Blade Runner 2) remains on board to pen the script, one that will offer a new spin on Agatha Christie’s 1934 story where Kenneth Branagh steps into the shoes of beady-eyed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Confirming this to be very much a passion project for the Irishman, Branagh will also produce with Fox’s Steve Asbell.
If you’ve never bore witness to the Murder on the Orient Express, Christie’s thriller was originally adapted for the screen by the illustrious Sidney Lumet four decades ago, chronicling the pulse-pounding story of a detective (Branagh’s Poirot) who scrambles to find the guilty party behind the murder of a wealthy business tycoon. To make matters worse, an unrelenting snow storm brings the Orient Express grinding to a halt somewhere between its journey from Istanbul – then known as Constantinople – to Paris, with Poirot deeming everyone on board to be a suspect.
One person that has ruled herself out of the case entirely, though, is Angelina Jolie. Yes, it looks to be that the Murder on the Orient Express will march on without the famed actress, and with production due to get underway before the year’s end, you can expect to catch wind of her replacement sooner rather than later.