EXCLUSIVE: Willem Dafoe has stepped aboard 20th Century Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express. He joins an ensemble cast also includes Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Josh Gad, Judi Dench, Michael Pena, Leslie Odom and Lucy Boynton. The newly imagined film is, of course, based on the iconic 1934 book by Agatha Christie. Dafoe will play undercover detective Gerhard Hardman in the hotly anticipated film being directed by Branagh.

Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg, Mark Gordon and Branagh are producing along with Michael Schaefer, Aditya Sood and Judy Hofflund. Agatha Christie Ltd.’s James Prichard and Hilary Strong are executive producing, and Steve Asbell overseeing for Fox. The film has been brought to the screen before by Sidney Lumet in 1974 and garnered several Academy Award nominations; Ingrid Bergman ended up winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Dafoe is onscreen in Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall with Matt Damon. The busy thesp (a director favorite) has a number of projects on his plate including Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, Zack Snyder’s Justice League and James Wan’s Aquaman. His credits include an array of films from The Grand Budapest Hotel to John Wick as well as the Spider-Man franchise, where he played the Green Goblin.

He is repped by CAA, Circle of Confusion and Roger Charteris at The Artists Partnership in the UK.