Kenneth Branagh promises fresh twists in new Murder On The Orient Express (exclusive)

Tom Butler
·Senior Editor

Fans of ‘Murder On The Orient Express’ can expect to be surprised by Sir Kenneth Branagh’s new adaptation. He’s the latest filmmaker to tackle Agatha Christie’s famous whodunnit – directing and starring as Hercule Poirot – and he’s promised that he has a few surprises up his sleeve for long-time fans familiar with the 83-year-old tale. Watch the first trailer here.

“I would have to kill you if I told you,” Branagh told Yahoo Movies when we quizzed him about whether we could expect new twists in our exclusive interview above.

“But [yes] there are a number of surprises, I think we can safely say.”

Sir Kenneth Branagh in 'Murder on the Orient Express' (20th Century Fox)
Sir Kenneth Branagh in ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (20th Century Fox)

Agatha Christie’s mystery novel has been adapted countless times since the detective story’s first publication in 1934. The most famous version is Sidney Lumet’s 1974’s star-studded take featuring Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot, and a host of other Hollywood megastars.

David Suchet and Alfred Molina have also starred as the Belgian detective in two different TV movies, and there was even a video game based on the mystery in 2006, but this new take has a special alement that few other modern movies can boast – a stellar cast from engine to catering carriage.

As the recently released first trailer (and poster, below) revealed, the first class cast includes veterans such as Dame Judi Dench and Willem Dafoe, heartthrobs like Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer, international icons Penélope Cruz and Sergei Polunin, and some of the hottest new Hollywood stars including Daisy Ridley and Josh Gad.

Murder On The Orient Express UK poster (20th Century Fox)
Murder On The Orient Express UK poster (20th Century Fox)

“The greatest special effect in the movie,” says ‘Beauty and the Beast’ star Josh Gad, “is the single shots with the entire cast in the frame. That’s the magic of this film.”

“Part of the big epic landscape of the movie,” Branagh adds in the full-length interview below, “were all of these faces.”

For those unfamiliar with the story, ‘Murder On The Orient Express’ finds Hercule Poirot snowbound on the iconic train when it breaks down somewhere deep in old Yugoslavia. A murder has occurred and everyone is a suspect.

Hector MacQueen (Josh Gad) and Ratchett (Johnny Depp) in 'Murder on the Orient Express' (20th Century Fox)
Hector MacQueen (Josh Gad) and Ratchett (Johnny Depp) in ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (20th Century Fox)

Willem Dafoe, who plays Austrian engineering professor Gerhard Hardman, adds that despite spoilers being available for anyone who wants to skip to the end, there’s still plenty of mystery for Poirot – and the audience – to unravel.

“It’s less a ‘whodunnit’,” Dafoe explained, “as how did they do it? That’s what we negotiate through, and how people play their hands, really, that’s the game. That’s the pleasure of the screenplay, it has an edge to it.”


‘Murder on the Orient Express’ is coming to cinemas in November.

Read more
Adam Wingard to direct Godzilla Vs Kong
Wonder Woman faces ban in Lebanon
Aladdin: Little Mix star up for Jasmine role