By Dave McNary
The studio has hired Orient Express screenwriter Michael Green to return for Death on the Nile. It has not yet signed a deal with Kenneth Branagh, but he is expected to return to the director’s chair and reprise his role of the mustachioed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.
Murder on the Orient Express has performed solidly at box office with $50 million domestically and another $100 million internationally. In addition to Branagh, producers were Ridley Scott, Mark Gordon, Simon Kinberg, Judy Hofflund, and Michael Schaefer. Executive producers were James Prichard and Hilary Strong of Agatha Christie Ltd. along with Aditya Sood and Matthew Jenkins.
Christie first published Death on the Nile in 1937, three years after her Murder on the Orient Express was published. The plot places Poirot on a vacation in Egypt, discovering a murder on the Nile River as a result of a love triangle gone bad. The book was adapted into a 1978 movie with Peter Ustinov as Poirot along with Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, Maggie Smith, Angela Lansbury, George Kennedy, Jane Birkin, Jack Warden, and David Niven.
The movie was not a hit, grossing $14 million. It won an Academy Award for best costume design.