Willem Dafoe Boards ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ Remake
Any mystery is only as good as its suspects, and Kenneth Branagh’s percolating adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express — perhaps the greatest whodunit ever to have dun it —has rounded up a murderer’s row of potential murderers. He’s rounded up a cast that fits all the essential literary thriller archetypes: Branagh himself will assay detective of note Hercule Poirot, along with Johnny Depp (the oddball), Judi Dench (the princess), Lucy Boynton (the countess), Michelle Pfeiffer (the actress), Daisy Ridley (the governess), Josh Gad (the bumbler), and Leslie Odom Jr. (the military man). The scene is set, but what’s that? A newcomer appears, bringing a little fresh blood to this unfolding mystery.
Willem Dafoe, master of blending refinement with a hard-to-place creepiness, has joined the cast of Murder on the Orient Express, according to a report from Deadline. He’ll take the role of “Gerhard Hardman,” described in the Deadline item as an undercover detective, and as such, most likely a renamed version of the original novel’s Cyrus Hardman. Why bother changing the name? Who knows! Random rewrite details are just another mystery rolled into the greater enigma of the Orient Express! (Minor pipe organ chords.) Either way, he should fit nicely into Branagh’s vision for Christie‘s work, which he’s described as focused more on the psychological element than furs-and-pearls set dressing. Murder on the Orient Express will roll into theaters on November 22.