Kenneth Branagh, as well as production designer Jim Clay, talk the film's set and the importance of authenticity

Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Watch the full episode of On Location with JD Heyman: Murder on the Orient Express now on PeopleTV. Go to, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite mobile or connected TV device.

When Murder on the Orient Express director Kenneth Branagh took a trip on the Orient Express, he and production designer Jim Clay quickly discovered that filming on the train itself wouldn’t be possible. Instead, he was left with the task of creating an authentic experience for the viewer on a replica set.

“The idea was to try to get people a sensory experience of what all that wood feels like, all that marquetry, the Christmas of the linen, the degree to which they work out the precision with which cutlery is laid out,” Branagh, who also stars in the movie, says in the new PeopleTV special, On Location with JD Heyman: Murder on the Orient Express. “At every level, whether it was physically building it or in the set decoration, we tried to make people feel the workmanship because part of being on the train is appreciating that kind of stuff.”

Clay also made note of the necessity for an entirely authentic set because the film was shot in 65 mm, which according to him, is “almost like high definition.” It appears as if the hard work paid off for him, though, because even cast members raved about the realness of the set.

“It was amazing because we had big, huge screens on either side to have the mountains going past, and you genuinely got a little confused,” laughed Olivia Colman. “You’re moving and mountains are going past. It did feel like you were on a really beautiful trip.”

Watch the full clip above. Murder on the Orient Express, which also stars Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Penélope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, Willem Dafoe, and more, is in theaters this Friday.

Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
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