Murder on the Orient Express is arguably Agatha Christie's most well-known novel, but it isn't the only popular mystery tale she delivered to the public. Over her lifetime, the author penned 66 books (73 if you count the romance books she wrote under a pseudonym) and 14 short story collections, leaving behind a body of work that will be treasured by mystery and literature aficionados for years to come. Murder on the Orient Express was recently re-adapted for the big screen under director/actor Kenneth Branagh, and it was announced that a sequel based on Death on the Nile is in development. But Branagh is already thinking past this upcoming movie, as he's interested in constructing a Poirot/Christie "cinematic universe." Branagh said:
I think there are possibilities, aren't there? With 66 books and short stories and plays, she --- and she often brings people together in her own books actually, so innately --- she enjoyed that. You feel as though there is a world --- just like with Dickens, there's a complete world that she's created --- certain kinds of characters who live in her world --- that I think has real possibilities.
It's important to mention that Kenneth Branagh hasn't run this idea past any 20th Century Fox bigwigs yet, but as he said later while speaking with AP, he bets "they've been thinking about it." Along with the mustachioed detective Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie's other popular starring characters included Miss Marple and the duo Tommy and Tuppence. Obviously it would be impossible to adapt all of Christie's stories as part of the same film series, but depending on how critically and commercially Death on the Nile is, perhaps Fox would be willing to expand the focus past Poirot. That could simply be through telling these other Christie stories as self-contained movies with only passing references to other areas of this "universe" or even having Poirot cross paths with these other characters.
While Kenneth Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express was met with mixed reviews, it performed pretty well commercially, making over $310 million worldwide. A relatively straightforward adaptation of the original 1934 novel, the movie saw Hercule Poirot determining who from a lineup of a dozen suspects committed the eponymous crime. We'll reunite with Branagh's Poirot in Death on the Nile, which was originally published in 1937 and followed the detective solving the murder of a wealthy socialite in Egypt. Along with playing Poirot again, Branagh is expected to resume his directing duties on Death on the Nile, and Michael Green will also return to write the sequel.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on how the Death on the Nile movie is coming along. In the meantime, if you're interested in planning your trips to the theater over the next year, find out what's coming out in our 2018 premiere guide.