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Willem Dafoe Boards ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ Remake

Willem Dafoe has signed on for Fox’s star-studded “Murder on the Orient Express,” joining Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad, and “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr.

Dafoe will play undercover detective Gerhard Hardman. Kenneth Branagh will direct and also star as detective Hercule Poirot.

Branagh, Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg, Mark Gordon, Michael Schaefer, Aditya Sood, and Judy Hofflund will produce. Michael Green wrote the screenplay, with Steve Asbell overseeing the production for Fox.

Agatha Christie’s novel, published in 1934, revolves around a murder on board the famous train. Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is tasked with solving the case that has numerous suspects among the passengers.

James Prichard and Hilary Strong, both of Agatha Christie Limited, will executive produce.

Variety reported in 2013 that Fox was developing the project as a remake of Sidney Lumet’s 1974 movie, which starred Albert Finney as the detective investigating the murder of an American tycoon aboard the train. The all-star cast of suspects included Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Colin Blakely, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave, and Michael York.

“Orient Express” was a commercial success, grossing $35 million in the U.S. It was also nominated for six Academy Awards, earning Bergman, who portrayed a Swedish missionary, her third Oscar.

Fox has already set a Nov. 22, 2017, release date for the remake.

Dafoe will be seen in “The Great Wall” with Matt Damon and in the superhero tentpole “Justice League,” as science advisor Nuidis Vulko. He’s repped by CAA, The Artists Partnership in the U.K., and Circle of Confusion. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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