20th Century Fox has acquired the feature rights to the Agatha Christie classic Murder on the Orient Express. The book takes place on the luxurious train, stuck in a snowdrift in Yugoslavia. That night a man is murdered, but fortunately cunning detective Hercule Poirot is aboard to solve the case. THR reports Ridley Scott (Prometheus) will produce alongside Mark Gordon (Source Code) and Simon Kinberg (Elysium). Scott is currently shooting the Biblical epic Exodus and recently stated his next two projects are already set, so he is likely too busy to direct the Christie adaptation.
Albert Finney played Poirot in the 1974 adaptation that earned six Oscar nominations. Alfred Molina took on the role in 2001 TV movie that was not received quite so well. Fox is still looking for a writer, so no word on who might play the Belgian detective this time around. But I expect a thorough casting search since there are 33 novels and 50 short stories that offer plenty of material for a Poirot franchise if Murder on the Orient Express is successful. Check out the book synopsis and 1974 trailer after the break.
The book synopsis:
Just after midnight, a snowstorm stops the Orient Express dead in its tracks in the middle of Yugoslavia. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for this time of year. But by morning there is one passenger less. A ‘respectable American gentleman’ lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside . . . Hercule Poirot is also aboard, having arrived in the nick of time to claim a second-class compartment—and the most astounding case of his illustrious career. [Amazon]
For the visual learners, here’s the trailer: