Johnny Depp is to star in the Murder on the Orient Express remake – his first film role since his divorce from Amber Heard. The 53-year-old actor hasn’t had the easiest time over the past few months as he’s been locked in a bitter legal battle with his now-ex-wife, but it seems things could now be on the up as he’s just been cast as Ratchett in the forthcoming revamped picture.
Depp jumped on-board the project after holding discussions with director Kenneth Branagh – who will also star as Detective Hercule Poirot – and reading the script penned by Michael Green that he’s adapted from Agatha Christie’s novel.
Michelle Pfeiffer and Daisy Ridley have also been added to the stellar cast and will portray Mrs. Hubbard and Mary Debenham. Dame Judi Dench has been signed to the role of Princess Dragomiroff, while Lucy Boynton is Countess Andrenyi. Branagh has almost picked out his entire ensemble but there are still a few major roles left to cast before filming kicks off.
Christie’s novel, which was published in 1934, follows the brutal murder on-board the famous train as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot attempts to solve the mind-boggling case.
Branagh told Deadline: “Christie’s ‘Murder…’ is mysterious, compelling and unsettling. I’m honored to have this fantastic group of actors bring these dark materials to life for a new audience.”
James Prichard and Hilary Strong, both of Agatha Christie Ltd., will executive produce, while Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg, Mark Gordon and Branagh will produce the film.
Murder on the Orient Express, which was originally made into a film in 1974, will begin shooting in November in London.