THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Michael Pena and Judi Dench have a ticket on Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express.

The studio has enlisted a cavalcade of A-listers for its ensemble adaptation of Agatha Christie’s acclaimed mystery novel that is being directed by Kenneth Branagh.

The classic murder mystery centers around a murder onboard the famous train, and introduces Belgian detective Hercule Poirot who must solve the case while being surrounded by duplicitous passengers.

Branagh is doing double duty by also starring as detective Hercule Poirot and leads a cast that includes Johnny Depp, who will play Ratchett, the man who is murdered, Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr., who is playing Doctor Arbuthnot, and Tom Bateman, who will play the Frenchman Bouc. Also in the cast are Lucy Boynton and Derek Jacobi.

Pfeiffer will ply Mrs. Hubbard, a glamorous and opinionated passenger with a secret.

Ridley will play Mary Debenham, a working class woman in love with Arbuthnot.

Dench will play Princess Dragomiroff, who hails from Russian royalty while Pena plays a Cuban passenger named Marquez.

“Christie’s Murder is mysterious, compelling and unsettling,” said Branagh. “I’m honored to have this fantastic group of actors bring these dark materials to life for a new audience.”

Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg, Mark Gordon and Branagh are producing the movie, which begins production in London in November. Michael Schaefer, Aditya Sood and Judy Hofflund will also produce.

Michael Green (Blade Runner sequel) wrote the script. Steve Asbell is overseeing for Fox.

“It is always thrilling for us to see the stellar casting that Agatha Christie film adaptations attract,” said James Prichard of Agatha Christie Ltd., who is executive producing with Hilary Strong.

Pfeiffer, most recently seen in The Family and People Like Us, is repped by CAA, Management 360 and Hirsch Wallerstein.

Ridley, the star of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has been quickly building up her projects. Along with Star Wars: Episode VIII, she’s attached to YA adaptation Chaos Walking, Fox Searchlight’s Peter Rabbit and indie The Lost Wife. She’s repped by CAA and Sloane, Offer.

Pena will next be seen in the new CHiPs film with Dax Shepard, and Collateral Beauty with Will Smith. He’s repped by CAA, Management 360 and Stone, Genow.

Dench appears in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which opens this weekend. She’s repped by Parseghian Planco and Julian Belfrage Associates in the UK.


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