Kenneth Branagh is lining up a third Hercule Poirot murder mystery, as he’s set to direct and star in A Haunting in Venice, an “unsettling” supernatural thriller inspired by Agatha Christie‘s novel Halowe’en Party.
The ensemble cast that will be joining Branagh includes Tina Fey, Michelle Yeoh, and the director’s Belfast stars Jamie Dornan, and Jude Hill, along with Kelly Reilly, Camille Cottin, Emma Laird, Kyle Allen, Ali Khan, and Riccardo Scamarico. That’s a strong cast right there!
Set in eerie, post-World War II on All Hallows’ Eve, A Haunting in Venice is a terrifying mystery that finds celebrated sleuth Hercule Poirot now retired and living in self-imposed exile in the world’s most glamorous city. Poirot reluctantly attends a séance at a decaying, haunted palazzo, and when one of the guests is murdered, the detective is thrust into a sinister world of shadows and secrets.
Screenwriter Michael Green (Logan) adapted Christie’s novel, and Judy Hofflund will produce the film, whose executive producers will include Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg, Mark Gordon, Louise Killin, and James Prichard. The filmmaking team previously teamed on Murder on the Orient Express (2017) and this year’s Death on the Nile.
“This is a fantastic development of the character Hercule Poirot, as well as the Agatha Christie franchise. Based on a complex, little-known tale of mystery set at Halloween in a pictorially ravishing city, it is an amazing opportunity for us, as filmmakers, and we are relishing the chance to deliver something truly spine-chilling for our loyal movie audiences,” Branagh said in a statement.
“We are enormously privileged to continue our long collaboration with the incomparable Sir Kenneth Branagh and couldn’t be more excited by the bold new creative direction Ken, Michael, and the rest of the filmmaking team have taken with this latest film,” added 20th Century Studios president Steve Asbell. We also remain grateful to James Prichard and the rest of our friends at Agatha Christie, Ltd., for their partnership and for once again entrusting us with, as Poirot modestly calls himself, ‘probably the greatest detective in the world.'”
A Haunting in Venice will begin production later this month — on Halloween, to be exact — at Pinewood Studios outside London and on location in Venice, and 20th Century Studios will release the film in U.S. theaters in 2023. I haven’t loved either of the films in this franchise, but if nothing else, it should be fun to actually see Fey back on the big screen for the first time since 2016’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.