In adapting Agatha Christie's great mystery novel Murder on the Orient Express back in 1974, director Sidney Lumet brought together one of the best casts you could imagine. The credits were filled with great actors, the most notable including Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Sean Connery, Anthony Perkins and Vanessa Redgrave. Their combined talents came together to create a memorable, fun thriller, but now Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg and Mark Gordon have revealed that they believe they have what it takes to stand in that film's shadow. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the three men are now teaming up to produce a brand new adaptation of Christie's classic story.
20th Century Fox is behind the project and is currently searching for writers to adapt the book. In the text, the legendary Detective Hercule Poirot finds himself on a train leaving Istanbul and getting caught up in a grand mystery with a number of colorful characters and suspects. The earlier adaptation earned six Academy Award nominations when it was released and won a Best Supporting Actress trophy for Bergman. In case you're not familiar with the movie, you can watch the original trailer below:
The trade notes that the real Orient Express doesn't actually run anymore, so it's unknown at this time if the project is being planned as a period piece set back in the 1930s or if it will be twisted to take place in modern day.
It should be noted that Scott, Kinberg and Gordon aren't the first producers to try and re-adapt the mystery after Lumet's take. In 2001 there was a TV movie made featuring Alfred Molina as Poirot - though obviously that version didn't exactly earn as much acclaim. Over the years the great detective has been played by many actors in many adaptations of Christie's other works, including performers like Peter Ustinov, Ian Holm and Tony Randall.
All three producers involved with the project have been making headlines as of late. Scott, who just released the critically panned The Counselor, is currently in production on the biblical epic Exodus. Kinberg, meanwhile, just signed a three-year contract with 20th Century Fox to oversee the development of their comic book properties, and Gordon is currently working on the next film in the Narnia franchise, The Silver Chair.
Do you think remaking Murder on the Orient Express is a good idea? Who do you think has the skills to play Poirot? Do you think there's any chance it could live up to the classic? Let us know what you're thinking in the comments section below.