Venice, known for its picturesque canals and romantic charm, is the location for the highly anticipated mystery thriller A Haunting in Venice. Based on the renowned novel “Hallowe’en Party” by Agatha Christie, the movie is brought to life by director Kenneth Branagh, who also stars as Hercule Poiro.
After the film’s release on September 15, it has earned just over $25 million domestically and $72 million globally as of September 27. With a $14.2 million domestic opening weekend in 3,305 theaters, the movie is seeing a roughly 55% decline since its second weekend in theaters.
The Third Poirot Movie
Having several film and television adaptations, it’s no surprise that Agatha Christie’s stories are always a hit. It’s also no surprise that 20th Century Studios went ahead with a third Poirot movie, following Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile. The two films received critical and commercial success despite mixed reviews.
This time around, the third movie delves into the supernatural as the title suggests. It’s also the third time our famed detective puts his “little grey cells” to use in this latest film adaptation.
A Haunting in Venice Plot
The upcoming A Haunting in Venice is based on Agatha Christie’s book, Hallowe’en Party. Published in 1969, the book came a little more than half a decade before Christie passed away. This is also the first time the story is brought to life on the big screen, following the many small-screen, theater, and radio adaptations.
The famed Hercule Poirot is retired and is living a reclusive life in Venice. Poirot is invited to a seance which he reluctantly attends. But when a guest at the seance is murdered, Poirot is forced to come out of retirement and solve the crime. The famed sleuth also winds up uncovering secrets and forgotten pasts.
20th Century Studios also released the official synopsis of the upcoming movie.
“‘A Haunting in Venice’ is set in eerie, post-World War II Venice on All Hallows Eve, ‘A Haunting in Venice’ is a terrifying mystery featuring the return of the celebrated sleuth Hercule Poirot. Now retired and living in self-imposed exile, Poirot reluctantly attends a seance at a decaying, haunted palazzo. When one of the guests is murdered, the detective is thrust into a sinister world of shadows and secrets.”
A Haunting in Venice Cast
Kenneth Branagh is back to reprise his role as the famous Belgian detective. Branagh is also directing the film as he did the previous Poirot movies.
“This is a fantastic development of the character Hercule Poirot as well as the Agatha Christie franchise,” said Branagh about the upcoming film. “Based on a complex, little-known tale of mystery set at Halloween in a pictorially ravishing city, it is an amazing opportunity for us, as filmmakers, and we are relishing the chance to deliver something truly spine-chilling for our loyal movie audiences.”
Branagh also told The Hollywood Reporter the movie leans more supernatural than a whodunit.
“I would say that we are firmly a supernatural thriller and the normal rules do not apply. So, as magnificent as Venice is, the film and the story itself is not as Gothic as it might appear, but it’s certainly exotic. It’s certainly mysterious as in Michael’s other work. And in Agatha Christie’s work, you have that chance for a conversation that subverts the genre. So we certainly are happy, as she was and Michael is, to scare people,” said Branagh.
A Star-Studded Cast
The upcoming film also includes a star-studded cast in the likes of Michelle Yeoh as Joyce Reynolds, Tina Fey as Ariadne Oliver, Jamie Dornan as Mr. Ferrier, Jude Hill as Leopold Ferrier, Kelly Reilly as Rowena Drake, Emma Laird as Desdemona Holland, Kyle Allen as Maxime Gerard, Camille Cottin as Olga Seminoff, Ali Khan as Nicholas Holland, and Riccardo Scamarcio as Vitale Portfoglio.
A Haunting in Venice is written by Michael Green, who also wrote the two previous Poirot movies. Judy Hoffman, Mark Gordon, Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, and James Prichard are the film’s producers. Louise Killin is the executive producer. Green and Branagh also serve as producers of the film.
What’s Next for Poirot?
Speaking with Total Film, James Prichard teased that there would be more Poirot films in the future. Prichard said there’s a lot more Agatha Christie source material to bring to life.
“If Ken wants to do more, and Michael wants to write more, we’ll certainly do another. There’s a lot of material still to go, so we’re not going to run out of inspiration,” said Prichard.
Prichard also said that A Haunting in Venice is a “departure” from the franchise.
“If we are going to continue making these films, we can’t do the same thing over and over. A departure at this moment is possibly risky. But it also has the potential to keep it alive, bring it in a different audience, and do something interesting that will hopefully surprise and delight,” said Prichard.
Branagh previously talked about creating a shared Agatha Christie universe in 2017.
“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,” said Branagh at the time. “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.”
A Haunting in Venice Release Date
For fans of Christie’s books and their film adaptations, seeing Poirot on the big screen again has been a welcomed event. A Haunting in Venice had its debut in theaters on September 15, which put the film up against other sequels of popular franchises like The Nun II.
The movie was filmed on location in Venice, Italy, and in Pinewood Studios in the UK. Production started on Halloween last year.
A trailer for the movie was released recently showing the star-studded ensemble cast and setting up the murder at a seance. This follows the first teaser trailer that dropped in April this year.
The trailer shows Poirot, 10 years into his retirement, arriving in Venice. Poirot arrives at a run-down palazzo and is welcomed by his author friend, Ariadne Oliver.
Ariadne tells the sleuth she’s skeptical about psychics, which Poirot agrees with. The skepticism changes when the murder is committed. Poirot originally came to expose the psychic’s methods, reasserting his skepticism. However, the trailer makes it look like Poirot is also being haunted by ghost children.
A Haunting in Venice Budget
As of the second week of release, A Haunting in Venice has made back its money at the box office. With a $60 million budget, the film has now grossed over $72 million worldwide.
During its first week of release, the film went up against the latest from the Conjuring Universe‘s The Nun II, which ultimately took the top spot at the box office for opening weekend. The Nun II more than doubled what A Haunting in Venice, with its opening weekend finishing at $32.6 million domestically.
When Will A Haunting in Venice Be on Streaming?
If you miss out on the theatrical release, the movie will likely be available digitally or on Disney+ by December this year. This is because Disney, which owns 20th Century Studios, brings theatrical releases to its streaming platform two to three months after its premiere.
For now, you can watch Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile on Disney+.
Curious what our editor thought of the film? Check out her A Haunting in Venice movie review.