It’s all gone a bit Southern Rail on the Orient Express. Angelina Jolie was in talks to join Kenneth Branagh’s Murder On The Orient Express but according to Variety’s reports, she’s now, well, disembarked. All change, please!
Jolie was never officially confirmed for the Poirot detective mystery. The likely pick to replace her is Charlize Theron.
Blade Runner 2's Michael Green has written the new adaptation of Agatha Christie's 1934 story, which has Branagh himself on duty as every murderer’s least favourite moustache-twiddling Belgian.
The mystery sees Poirot exercising the little grey cells over the murder of an American tycoon on a journey from Istanbul (Constantinople at the time) to Paris. The train is stuck in a terrible snowstorm and everyone on board the packed carriages becomes a suspect.
The great Sidney Lumet famously adapted the story in 1974 with a cast so star-studded, Hollywood was literally deserted during the shoot. Branagh’s version has a job matching a call sheet that boasted Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall, Jacqueline Bisset, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave and Michael York. Expect the casting announcements to come thick and fast from here on in.