Murder on the orient express
MUrDEr On ThE OriEnT EXPrESS i An unbelievably starry cast assembles for a new take on Agatha Christie’s classic whodunit.
All aboard Kenneth Branagh’s lavish adap.
Alot of suspects,” grins Kenneth Branagh, when Teasers asks what we can expect from his lavish new take on Agatha Christie’s classic mystery, Murder On The Orient Express. “A lot of suspects… and I think a bit more scope than people [expect] – we shoot on 65mm [as with Dunkirk]. So we have a big widescreen experience that people will enjoy entering the golden age of travel with. It travels more than you’d think.”
Branagh’s is the latest adaptation of Christie’s 1934 novel, following the 1974 film, and TV versions in 2001 and 2010. The previous renditions starred Albert Finney, Alfred Molina and David Suchet, respectively, as legendary moustachioed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot – the role Branagh takes here in addition to directing. Finding himself
on the luxury locomotive heading west from Istanbul, Poirot ends up on something of a busman’s holiday when a fellow passenger is murdered, and it’s down to him to deduce the perpetrator from a hefty list of fishy types.
It’s unsurprising that Branagh opted for large-format 65mm film for the first time since 1996’s Hamlet, given the amount of star power he has to cram into the frame. Among the travellers are Johnny Depp’s businessman Samuel Edward Ratchett; Michelle Pfeiffer’s Mrs. Hubbard, “A widow, possibly on the husband hunt,” according to Branagh; Penélope Cruz’s Pilar Estravados, a missionary; Daisy Ridley’s Mary Debenham, “A governess travelling from Baghdad, originally, to England,” says the Last Jedi actress; Judi Dench’s Princess Dragomiroff; Willem Dafoe’s Gerhard Hardman, an engineering professor; and Josh Gad’s Hector MacQueen, who the actor sums up simply as “Johnny Depp’s bitch”.
Kenneth Branagh’s phenomenal facial hair takes top billing.