This summer, we learned that Kenneth Branagh was eyeing a remake of Murder on the Orient Express at 20th Century Fox as his next directorial effort. Well now it appears that he’s formally decided to helm the feature, but he’s also made his first casting decision: himself. Per THR, Branagh will direct and star in the new adaptation of the Agatha Christie mystery as Detective Hercule Poirot. It’s not uncommon for Branagh to cast himself in his directorial projects—he did so recently with Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit when he took a liking to that film’s villain role.
Poirot is a big role, though, as the character appeared in 33 of Christie’s novels. Albert Finney played the character in the 1974 adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express, landing a Best Actor Oscar nomination in the process. For those unaware, the story finds Poirot investigating the murder of an American man aboard the Orient Express.
Green Lantern and Blade Runner 2 scribe Michael Green is penning the screenplay, and the film has a formidable behind-the-scenes team in the form of producers Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg, and Mark Gordon. It’s unclear how soon the project will come together, but Branagh is currently coming off the terrific (and somewhat underrated) Disney adaptation Cinderella. That picture was a swell recovery for the filmmaker after the misfire Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which itself followed the career rejuvenating Marvel pic Thor. He’s separately attached to direct the YA adaptation Artemis Fowl for Disney, so either that or Orient Express is likely to be his next film.