Kenneth Branagh’s Hercule Poirot franchise shows no signs of slowing down. And it looks like he’s taking Bouc with him. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter20th Century Studios President Steve Asbell says a third Poirot movie is on the way – just weeks away after Death on the Nile Release. He shared some information about the upcoming film, saying Michael Green’s script is complete. So what to expect? Well, it’s an adaptation of a “lesser known” novel and it’s definitely a different tone from the previous movies.
Oddly enough, he shared that the script boasts of a post-war Venice setting. Me and Nerdist Rosie Knight, Agatha Christie Expert racked our brains thinking of a Poirot mystery set in Venice to no avail. However, given the widely-traveled detective, it wouldn’t be surprising if Branagh re-enters one of Christie’s stories in a new setting. Of course, these comments might end in nothing, but it’s always fun to dive deep into the vast source material. Between Branagh and the BBC/Prime Video limited series, Agatha Christie mysteries are all over our screens. So we’re excited for a lesser-known story to make its way to the big screen.
In his upcoming Agatha Christie adaptation, here are some of the Poirot stories that Kenneth Branagh could tackle.
“The Adventure of the Noble Italian”
If Branagh’s first two Poirot films are any indication, we can probably swap one of Poirot’s assistants for Bouc. (Although it only appears in Murder on the Orient ExpressBouc came back for Death on the Nile—and this time Tom Bateman got the second billing.) The news from the 1924 collection Poirot investigates sees Poirot and his friend Hastings as they investigate the murder of an Italian earl who was also being blackmailed. Considering this is already an Italy-centric tale, the London setting of this story could very easily shift to Venice.
The big four
Featuring recurring characters Hastings and Inspector Japp, the 1927 novel – originally published as a short story series – features Poirot investigating a global crime syndicate. The titular foursome are aiming for world domination, and it looks like the mustachioed detective is the one to take them down. A spy thriller is definitely a different kind of story for Poirot, and it’s kind of fun to watch Christie tackle a different kind of mystery. So if 20th Century Studios and Branagh are looking to tackle something with a fresh feel, while still allowing for a star-studded set, they should look no further than The big four.
The Mysterious Case of Styles
Interestingly, Agatha Christie’s first Poirot story – and the very first published novel – doesn’t garner the same kind of love as some of her other stories. Especially considering it’s a pretty fun thriller with a sprawling cast of characters. The story sees Poirot (assisted by Hastings) investigate the death of a wealthy woman named Emily Inglethorp. As the mystery unfolds, we encounter a very suspicious extended family and devious locals. While the whole story takes place in Styles Court, there is also a world in which we see all of our main players plotting while on vacation.
“Jewel Theft at the Grand Metropolitan”
Another little story from Poirot investigates, this tale follows the Belgian detective and Hastings on holiday in Brighton. Interestingly, there is no murder in this story. Instead, our beloved sleuths are looking for a jewel thief. It’s a simple story of greed, theft, and a good old-fashioned blame game. Indeed, a welcome adventure for Poirot, who can’t seem to escape a murder mystery.
The Labors of Hercules
Your Classics teacher’s collection of favorite Agatha Christie short stories. In the collection, Poirot tries to end his rich detective career by reproduce the labors of Hercules. This means choose cases based on their parallels with the corresponding work. The third short story in the collection, “The Arcadian Deer”, sees Poirot bouncing around the European continent in search of a woman in the name of the mechanic who fixes his car. He travels to Paris, Pisa and the Swiss Alps throughout his research. Not bad for the globe-trotting detective.
A film featuring allusions to the Labors of Hercules could be a big deal for a Disney-backed franchise. (Even if they only shot one story.) Still, it could also make for a great TV series – something to consider.
Caught in the Flood
Set in post-war England, this novel by Christie follows the Cloade family as they rebuild their lives after the war and grapple with the loss of family members both overseas and during the Blitz. Poirot is called after a murder victim in the local village blackmails an extended family member. Naturally, things take a turn for the worse and more family secrets come to light. Poirot must solve the case before someone else is killed. Not exactly the Venetian setting described by Asbell, but a post-war vibe is definitely at play here.
death in the clouds
To be honest, why not! Poirot of Branagh’s first two mysteries involved an untimely demise of various modes of transportation. So why not add a third? In the novel, Poirot is traveling in a small plane with a dozen other people when one of them is poisoned. Hilariously, Poirot is one of the local police suspects – after all, the murderer was on the plane – so he leaves to clear his name. And, of course, find the murderer.
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