With a release date just over a year from now, the clock is ticking on Kenneth Branagh‘s “Murder On The Orient Express,” and at the moment he has everything in place except for one major thing: a cast. Previously set to star Angelina Jolie, the actress dropped out of the project over the summer, and while Charlize Theron was eyed as a possible replacement, not much has been heard about that. However, a couple more names have surfaced as possible additions to what’s expected to be a star-studded ensemble.

THR reveals that Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer (who previously starred together in Tim Burton‘s “Dark Shadows“) are “names of interest” for ‘Express,’ although they are not officially attached at the moment. It would be Branagh’s first time working with either star, but they would certainly bring some shine to his film (and it seems Depp’s career is having no ill effects from the allegations of domestic abuse that came up earlier this year). And as for the reason why we need a new ‘Express’ (and “Witness For The Prosecution,” with Ben Affleck directing and starring) considering there’s already Sidney Lumet‘s acclaimed 1974 version, Hilary Strong, CEO of Agatha Christie Limited, says contemporary audiences won’t look them up.

“One of the criticisms that I keep getting levied at me is that [the previous film adaptations] were so amazing. ‘How can you remake ‘Murder on the Orient Express’?’ ” she told THR. “They’re iconic films, but they are of their time, and there is a new cinema audience that won’t watch films that were made in 1957 or 1974, and we want them to hear her stories.”

I certainly hope that’s not the case, and I always want to give movie watchers more credit, but for every cinephile eager to do a deep dive, there are probably a few more who just want to watch what’s new.

“Murder On The Orient Express” opens on November 22, 2017.

Update 9/29: THR reveals Johnny Depp is now in talks for “Murder On The Orient Express.”

  • ebelmaine

    Depp BLEH

  • Michael Skaggs

    New edition of the story? They did one on PBS four years ago. Plus, if young viewers are not interested in older movies, then why does Turner Classic Movies continue to get big ratings? Also, double BLEH.

  • Sofia

    I’m a voracious reader and I love Agatha Christie
    I think Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeifer would be perfect for the role.
    Depp is very talented and he, personally has a strong connection with the style of the 30s and Michelle has a classic beauty and is also talented, so I think the product, Depp, Pfeiffer and Branagh, would sell the idea.

  • Sofia

    I’m curious to know more on what Branagh is willing to propose to us through Agatha Christie

  • Sofia

    They say that young people are only interested in super heroes, but I’m young and I personally prefer the heroes who use intelligence, perspicacity and understanding of the character and feelings that drive people as well as Hercule Poirot and Agatha Christie.
    I think the old version, despite having followed the book and have a good cast, but for me, it’s a bit impersonal, I think Johnny would be perfect to give life again to this classic and I would love to see a new version of this.

  • You’re Driving Me Crazy

    How many versions of this do we need? For crying out loud!

  • Seymore Butts

    I see a few things wrong with this to begin with..1) Ben Affleck directing..why?
    2) Johnny Depp is sliding down..Alice in Wonderland 2 was a huge disappointment, he looked as if he had Parkinsons the watly he twitched and carried on. Not to mention the well overdone contouring, I felt like I was watching a bad movie colored by kindergarteners.
    3) Michelle Pfeifer…just why?
    4) Why do these people keep coming up with remakes of classic movies, they never pan out.
    My advice is do not wreck perfection with a bunch of has been shleps.