If you're a member of the original cast of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton: An American Musical, you pretty much have a blank check to do whatever the hell you want at this point. With Miranda himself becoming a member of the Disney family, Philippa Soo boarding the musical adaptation of Amelie, and Daveed Diggs parlaying his star power into the worlds of TV and film, the proof couldn't be any clearer. At least, that was before fellow co-star Leslie Odom Jr. entered talks to become a part of Kenneth Branagh's remake of Murder on the Orient Express.
The good news was broken in a story that ran on Variety earlier today, detailing how this year's Tony winner for Best Actor in a Musical has now become a prospective member of Branagh's adaptation of one of Agatha Christie's best known mysteries. With the director also playing the role of Hercule Poirot, no other roles have been specified as being filled during the casting process. This news comes weeks after Angelina Jolie officially passed on a role that she was being offered, which only magnifies the feeling that the casting process is at a breakneck pace.
Landing Leslie Odom Jr. couldn't be a more appropriate example of perfect casting, especially for a film like Murder on the Orient Express. His theatrical background is a perfect compliment to Kenneth Branagh's experiences as both an actor and a director in the theater. Also, though he's primarily known as a stage actor, Odom has an extensive resume in television acting on shows such as Smash, House of Lies, and Gotham, while also sporting a sole film credit in 2012's Red Tails. Above all else, Leslie Odom Jr. is one hell of a singer, as you can hear for yourself in a track from his self-titled album below.
Perhaps the greatest reason to celebrate Leslie Odom Jr's casting in Murder on the Orient Express is the fact that this story is known as being a project that offers the opportunity to assemble an all-star cast of notables in the recent past, as well as the here and now. Nowhere was that more evident than in the cast list from the 1974 version directed by Sidney Lumet, which saw Albert Finney in the role of Poirot, as he investigated everyone from Sean Connery to Ingrid Bergman, as he tried to suss out who killed the film's ill-fated passenger. So not only is landing a role in the latest remake of the classic tale a sure sign that Odom is in high demand, it's also further proof that he's hit the big time.
Murder on the Orient Express is penciled in for a November 10, 2017 release date, but we'll see if that still holds true once the casting process has been completed.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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