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While the Murder on the Orient Express remake suffer a slight setback when Angelina Jolie departed, the project has managed to bounce back and then some. Following yesterday's reports that Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer (seen above) were being eyed to join the remake, their casting was confirmed today, but they weren't the only familiar faces joining that 20th Century Fox had to announce.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley and acting legend Dame Judi Dench, who can be seen starting tomorrow in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, have also been cast in Murder on the Orient Express. All four actors join director Kenneth Branagh, who will also play the main detective, Hercule Poirot. Johnny Depp will play Rachett, Michelle Pfeiffer will play Mrs. Hubbard, Ridley will play Mary Debenham and Dench will play Princess Dragomiroff. We won't provide any spoilers here for those who haven't read the original novel or seen the previous theatrical adaptations, but for one of those actors, we suspect they won't get that much screen time, assuming no major alterations to the story have been made.
Those four names are enough to get many excited for this new take of Murder on the Orient Express, but the list of new actors who've been added doesn't end with them. Here are the rest of the principal players: Sing Street's Lucy Boynton as Countess Andrenyi; Da Vinci's Demons Tom Bateman as Bouc; Gladiator's (and Tony-winner) Derek Jacobi as Masterman; Ant-Man's Michael Pena as Marquez and Hamilton's Leslie Odom Jr. as Doctor Arbuthnot. There are still a few roles left to be cast, but otherwise, the main cast has shaped up nicely. Here's what Kenneth Branagh has to say about everyone's inclusion:
Christie's 'Murder' is mysterious, compelling and unsettling. I'm honoured to have this fantastic group of actors bring these dark materials to life for a new audience.
Written by Agatha Christie and published in 1934, Murder on the Orient Express remains one of the most famous crime novels nearly a century later.The story has been adapted numerous times in other media, but the most famous adaptation is without a doubt the 1974 theatrical movie, which starred Albert Finney, Sean Connery and Lauren Bacall, among others. Just like the other versions, the remake will revolve around a murder on the eponymous train, and it's up to Hercule Poirot to investigate the passengers and learn who committed the crime. We'll have to wait and see how this new version holds up to its predecessors, but with a cast like this, our interest is already piqued.
Written by Michael Green, Murder on the Orient Express will begin production in London starting sometime in November, but no release date has been assigned yet. Stay tuned to Cinema Blend for all the relevant updates surrounding the remake as more news comes in.