Director and star Kenneth Branagh's splashy big-screen adaptations of Agatha Christie novels have been quite popular, so a third movie has been nearly a foregone conclusion. Now the filmmaker adds a new and perennially popular element to the mix: Horror.
In A HAUNTING IN VENICE, Branagh suits up once again as Christie's Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, and he's joined by a bevy of fantastic actors. The source material this time is less famous than that for the prior two movies, MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS and DEATH ON THE NILE. But that gives Branagh more leeway to play, as you'll see from the first trailer.
When Does A Haunting in Venice Come Out?
20th Century Studios will release A HAUNTING IN VENICE in movie theatres on September 15.
Watch the New Trailer for A Haunting in Venice
After two movies, Branagh could easily lean even deeper into the glossy and starry style of his previous two Christie adaptations. So we love seeing him veer in a different direction. This probably won't be a horror movie in the strictest sense of the term, but it certainly has some of that vibe. And if it's a horror movie for those who tend to like more staid mysteries, that's pretty great!
The Novel A Haunting in Venice Is Based On
Kennenth Branagh's first two Hercule Poirot movies, MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS and DEATH ON THE NILE, were based on very popular Agatha Christie novels. For his third outing as the character, however, Branagh and returning writer Michael Green have turned to a less popular book.
"Hallowe'en Party," published in 1969, is not Christie's most popular novel. It was not even particularly well-reviewed at the time, but fans have a more positive view of it all these years later. And we should note that the book is not set in Venice; moving the action from England to Italy is one of the most obvious changes made to the tale for the movie. It makes sense that Branagh would continue the
We don't know how closely the movie follows the plot of the book beyond that alteration.
Here's a fun piece of trivia, however: A copy of the book "Hallowe'en Party" appears in Branagh's last movie, BELFAST. There's a scene in which the main character's mother is given a copy of the book.
The Cast of A Haunting in Venice
At the risk of repeating ourselves, yes, Kenneth Branagh returns as Hercule Poirot. His mustache is as wonderful as ever, too. Branagh is joined by Kyle Allen, Camille Cottin, Ali Khan, Emma Laird, Kelly Reilly, Riccardo Scamarcio, and Michelle Yeoh. Jamie Dornan and Jude Hill, who were both in BELFAST, are also in the movie.
There's also an interesting aspect of the casting, as Tina Fey appears as Ariadne Oliver, a mystery writer who is a friend to Poirot. In Christie's fiction, Oliver is more than a minor figure; she's a recurring character who first appeared in a short story and became a periodically recurring figure in Poirot novels.
It's neat to see Fey in a role that isn't primarily comedic, but it makes sense after her terrific guest-star turn on "Only Murders in the Building." But it makes us wonder if there's any plan to make more movies featuring Ariadne Oliver as a returning supporting character.
A HAUNTING IN VENICE opens on September 15.
All images courtesy of 20th Century Studios.