Angelina Jolie is not hopping aboard the adaptation to Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” as it was originally reported.
Variety, who first broke the news, says the actress never signed a deal on the film, but was in early negotiations for an unspecified role. Now, the report claims, the studio is putting out feelers for other big-name stars such as Charlize Theron.
Production on the film is expected to begin this fall, with a 2017 release date being eyed. It will be directed by Kenneth Branagh, who is also starring as the iconic Christie character detective Hercule Poirot. Michael Green (“Blade Runner 2”) is adapting the screenplay.
The film is not the only one in development that relates to the famous mystery author. In June it was reported that two films centering on Christie are vying for approval from her estate in order to proceed.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, in Sony’s version (“Agatha Christie”), Alicia Vikander is being courted to play Christie in her “proto-feminist” years, unhappy with societal expectations of a young mother and wife.
In Paramount’s “Agatha,” Emma Stone is being eyed to play the renowned author during the eleven days she went missing in 1926. No one knows why Christie disappeared. Neither film has announced potential directors or writers.
The outlet notes that both films first need to gain approval from the Christie estate, something that can take years to accomplish.
It reportedly took Fox seven years to do just that for “Murder on the Orient Express.”
On the subject of attaining the rights to the film, “Orient Express” producer Simon Kinberg said, “There was a very complicated legal negotiation behind getting the rights. But Agatha’s grandson [Mathew Prichard] was always supportive of our doing it and is so excited now that we have this great script by Michael Green.”
Another adaptation of a classic Christie novel, “And Then There Were None,” is going into production through 20th Century Fox. Morten Tyldum is set to direct that feature.
Stay tuned for more information on the status of “Murder on the Orient Express.”