Twentieth Century Fox is actively developing Agatha Christie’s 1937 Hercule Poirot whodunit Death on the Nile as a sequel to the studio’s recent release Murder on the Orient Express.
EW has confirmed that Michael Green, who wrote the first film, will return to pen the screenplay and, while no deals are currently in place, Orient Express actor-filmmaker Kenneth Branagh is expected to once again star as Poirot and direct.
Murder on the Orient Express has grossed $148.2 million worldwide since its release last month. When EW visited the U.K. set earlier this year, Branagh made it clear that he would be happy to return to the role of the brilliant detective Poirot, were his film to strike a chord with audiences.
“I would be thrilled, I must say,” he told this writer. “I have enjoyed it enormously, to delve into the nature of the character, to read more of the books, to understand, to admire with greater intensity what Agatha Christie’s talents were. That’s been really a great great creative treat. So I’d be absolutely delighted to do more.”
Death on the Nile finds a vacationing Poirot attempting to solve a murder which takes place aboard a steamship in Egypt. A previous big-screen adaptation of Christie’s book was released in 1978, with Peter Ustinov playing Poirot and a supporting cast which included Mia Farrow, Bette Davis, David Niven, and Maggie Smith. The book was also adapted for the TV show Agatha Christie’s Poirot, with David Suchet portraying the great Belgian sleuth.
Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express costarred Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, and Josh Gad, among others. The film was produced by Ridley Scott, Mark Gordon, Simon Kinberg, Branagh, Judy Hofflund, and Michael Schaefer.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the sequel news.