Fox’s remake of the classic Agatha Christie whodunit Murder on the Orient Express is picking up steam, now that Michael Green has been tapped to pen the script. The studio has been developing this redo since late 2013, when power trio Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg and Mark Gordon all came aboard as producers. No director is yet attached to the pic, but Fox is understandably looking to attract a big name.
The story, one of the author’s most acclaimed to feature detective Hercule Poirot, was previously adapted for film by Sidney Lumet back in 1974. His take was rapturously received, racking up six Oscar nods and winning one (for Ingrid Bergman’s supporting performance). Albert Finney starred as Poirot, leading an all-star cast that included Bergman, Lauren Bacall, Jacqueline Bisset, Colin Blakely, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave and Michael York.
This remake has big shoes to fill, but Green is a smart choice for the gig – he and Hampton Fancher recently penned the script for the upcoming Blade Runner sequel, to star Harrison Ford and be directed by Prisoners helmer Denis Villeneuve. Suffice to say, the scribe has some experience with dusting off classics. His other gigs include writing Green Lantern and scribing on the small screen for Kings, Everwood, Sex and the City, Heroes, Jack and Bobby and Smallville.
Fox will likely seek to populate its remake with bankable A-listers, though the most pressing question on everyone’s mind is: who could even come close to topping David Suchet as Poirot? That actor has portrayed the detective on ITV’s Agatha Christie’s Poirot since 1989. Christie’s fans may take umbrage with this remake if Fox doesn’t tread carefully with who it chooses to replace him.
No date has yet been set for Murder on the Orient Express, but once Green turns in his draft, things are going to start to move quickly.