Belgian detective Hercule Poirot will be returning to the screen. Happy with the success that the recently released Murder On The Orient Express has been met with, Fox is starting up development on a followup adapting another of Agatha Christie’s classic whodunit murder mysteries featuring the epicurean inspector Poirot, Death On The Nile.
The Hollywood Reporter states that although director and star Kenneth Branagh is not signed for a sequel, the five-time Oscar nominee is expected to return. Screenwriter Michael Green, who adapted Murder, is already set to work on the sequel. The film ended on a note that saw Branagh’s Poirot being summoned to Egypt in a nod to the Christie book, another of the more famous titles in the Poirot canon.
After only ten days in release Murder On The Orient Express has earned just shy of $150 million at the worldwide box office. Since it was produced for a very economical $55 million – every cent of which must be on screen – the film is close to being in the black already, with further ticket receipts being profit for the studio.
In an era where most studios are building their business plans on the success of expensive blockbusters and all the risk that those large, concentrated investments carry, it is nice to see smaller mid-range films still being made and finding success. Fox has done this before with Deadpool, also made for around $58 million and which went on to gross $783 million worldwide. While Murder On The Orient Express isn’t on track to make that kind of a profit, it will still give Fox a healthy return. And with another 30 some novels and 50 short stories still available to adapt, it looks like a Poirot franchise could be a nice moneymaker for the studio for some time to come.