Following the star-studded premiere of Murder on the Orient Express in London last night, the first reviews for Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery novel have landed online and, surprisingly, they don’t seem to be too harsh, though the consensus seems to be relatively mixed at the moment.
In his review for Variety, critic Peter Debruge writes that even though Branagh “succeeds in creating the most memorable incarnation of Poirot ever seen on-screen,” the updated version of Murder on the Orient Express is “a failure overall” and the final act is botched “so badly that those who go in blind may well walk out not having understood its infamous twist ending.”
Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy says Branagh “has delivered a version of Agatha Christie’s 1934 murder-on-a-train mystery gem that may not be as starry but is snappier than the highly successful 1974 outing,” though he was a bit confused as to why the director opted to shoot the film on 65mm considering most of the movie takes place in “cramped interior settings.”
Anna Smith of Time Out London gave Murder on the Orient Express three out of five stars in her rather positive review for the film, calling it “a sporadically entertaining adaptation of the murder mystery classic” despite feeling “it’s all a little too crowded with characters.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the source material, Murder on the Orient Express follows a group of thirteen strangers on a lavish train ride through Europe that quickly turns deadly when one of them is killed by an unknown suspect. The film stars Branagh alongside Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, and Josh Gad.
Murder on the Orient Express opens in the U.S. on November 10.
Paramount taps ‘Fargo’ creator Noah Hawley to write, direct next installment in ‘Star Trek’ series
Fresh off the release of his feature directorial debut Lucy in the Sky last month, Noah Hawley has been set to write and direct the upcoming next installment in the Star Trek franchise, according to Deadline.
Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, and the rest of the principal cast are all expected to return for Star Trek 4, which Hawley will also produce for his 26 Keys banner along with JJ Abrams and Bad Robot.
The film is not in any way related to the R-rated spinoff Abrams and Quentin Tarantino have been developing with writer Mark L. Smith and will serve as a direct sequel to 2016’s Star Trek Beyond.
S.J. Clarkson had been attached to direct Star Trek 4 as recently as last year and was poised to become the first woman to helm a film in the sci-fi series but reportedly parted ways with the project after development stalled in mid-2018.
Hawley — perhaps best known for his work on FX series such as Fargo and Legion — recently made his directorial debut with the Natalie Portman-led drama Lucy in the Sky, which tanked at the domestic box office amid harsh reviews from critics.
Production on Star Trek 4 is expected to get underway in 2020.
Netflix releases final trailer for Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’ ahead of streaming debut
Netflix has released the final trailer for Martin Scorsese’s masterful gangster epic The Irishman starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci ahead of its debut on the streaming service next week.
Based on Charles Brandt’s true-crime novel I Heard You Paint Houses, The Irishman chronicles the story of Frank Sheeran (De Niro), a high-ranking labor union official and mob hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century, including Bufalino crime family boss Russell Bufalino (Pesci) and Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino).
The film spans decades and offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organized crime, including its inner workings and connections to mainstream politics, as well as a glimpse into the mysterious 1975 disappearance of Hoffa, whose body was never actually found by authorities.
In addition to its three main stars, The Irishman boasts an incredible ensemble cast that also includes Ray Romano as Bill Bufalino, Harvey Keitel as Angelo Bruno, Anna Paquin as Peggy Sheeran, Jesse Plemons as Chuckie O’Brien, Bobby Cannavale as Felix DiTullio, and Stephen Graham as Anthony Provenzano.
The Irishman is currently playing in select theaters around the US and will begin streaming on Netflix just in time for Thanksgiving on November 27.
David Fincher, Robert Towne begin development on ‘Chinatown’ prequel series at Netflix
Per Deadline, Fincher and Towne — the latter of the two having won an Oscar for his screenplay for the film starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway — have closed deals to begin working on a pilot script for the series.
The duo will also executive produce the project, which centers around “a young Jake Gittes (played by Nicholson in Polanski’s film) as he plies his business in a town where the wealthy and corruption involves areas like land, oil, and gangs.”
Fincher has reportedly expressed interest in directing an episode of the yet-to-be-titled series, though his current deal with the streamer only includes the pilot script and his handling of directorial duties would have to be negotiated into the agreement.
Netflix has developed quite a relationship with Fincher over the past several years, having collaborated with the director on series such as Love, Death & Robots, House of Cards, and Mindhunter.
Fincher’s latest collaboration with Netflix — a feature film about the life of Hollywood screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz titled Mank — stars Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, and Lily Collins, and is expected to begin shooting in Los Angeles later this month.