It’s been a while since we’ve heard an update on Fox’s long touted remake of Murder On The Orient Express. In fact, there’s been such little movement on the film that most people probably forgot that it was even planned. However, it has now taken a rather big step forward , because even though the project was announced more than a year ago, it’s just been revealed who'll be writing it.
According to Variety, Michael Green (2011's Green Lantern) has signed up to pen the film, and now Fox will be hoping that it’s full speed ahead for the project. That should be a formality, because there is plenty of talent on-board for the film. X-Men: Days Of Future Past and The Fantastic Four writer Simon Kinberg is attached to produce, alongside both Mark Gordon (who previously filled this role on both Speed and Saving Private Ryan), and Ridley Scott (who, let’s face it, doesn’t need an introduction). At this point, there still isn’t a director attached for Murder On The Orient Express, however if the latter can be nudged to sit behind the camera for the project, then anticipation would immediately increase.
Murder On The Orient Express revolves around the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, who just so happens to be a bona-fide genius. So when an American tycoon is found murdered on board the titular locomotive, he immediately starts to dissect the clues in an attempt to figure out which dastardly fiend committed the crime. He also does so in the most dramatic way possible, just to keep things interesting.
Murder On The Orient Express is not only Agatha Christie’s most famous detective tale, but it’s also her most popular and endearing. Originally published back in 1934, it was immediately adored upon its release by critics, and its reputation has only grown over the years. Numerous adaptations of Christie's novel across a variety of platforms have been made, but the most successful by-far was the 1974 film. And when you see the talent involved in this version, you’ll understand why. In fact, you should just watch the original trailer for the movie below.
Did you see that cast? Legendary English actor Albert Finney took the role of Hercule Poirot, and he was joined by the likes of Lauren Bacall, Jacqueline Bisset, Colin Blakely, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York, and Ingrid Bergman, who would pick up her third Oscar for her supporting role). Finding an ensemble as good as this for the remake will be an extreme challenge.
It also helps that Murder On The Orient Express was directed by Sidney Lumet, one of the subtlest and most sumptuous directors to have ever looked through a lens. The fact that he also oversaw the likes of 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon and Network proves him as one of Hollywood’s greatest filmmakers, while his concise, old school approach to filmmaking, which was mixed with a dash of modern cynicism, is the reason why his status was confirmed long before his 2011 death.
1974’s Murder On The Orient Express was a resolute hit too, as it grossed $35 million from its $1.9 million budget, and received a number of Academy Award nominations. While I’m currently skeptical that a remake will connect with today’s moviegoers, if they can hire the right director and another all-star cast, I may soon change my mind.