Angelina Jolie is in talks to board Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic whodunit Murder on the Orient Express. The actress would join what likely will be an all-star cast as Branagh assembles members from his repertory, both theatrical and big-screen.
Christie’s tale features Hercule Poirot, the erstwhile Belgian detective of curly mustache and inquisitive demeanor. Branagh will embody Poirot, who is called into action after an American tycoon is found murdered, stabbed multiple times, in his locked compartment from the inside aboard the luxurious Orient Express. Isolated and with a killer in their midst on a packed train that is stranded during a terrible snowstorm, Poirot must identify the murderer before he or she strikes again.
Murder on the Orient Express has been adapted for film and TV numerous times before, including a 1974 Sidney Lumet-directed version with Albert Finney in the main role and a cast that included Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman and Sean Connery. Famous for its labyrinthine plot and unconventional solution, the story first published in 1934. Branagh also will produce along with Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg and Mark Gordon.
Michael Schaefer and Aditya Sood will also produce in some capacity. It will be executive produced by James Prichard and Hilary Strong; Strong brokered the deal for Agatha Christie Ltd. Michael Green (Blade Runner 2) will pen the script, with Steve Asbell overseeing the production for Fox.
The picture marks an easygoing change of pace for Jolie following her recent focus on filmmaking. Last year, she directed and starred in the intimate drama By the Sea opposite husband Brad Pitt. She is in post on First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers for Netflix. The film follows Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung recounting the horrors she suffered under the rule of the deadly Khmer Rouge.
Jolie is repped by UTA and Media Talent Group.