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Ridley Scott producing 'Murder on the Orient Express'

  |   Dec. 20, 2013 at 4:36 PM
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SILVER SPRING, Md., Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Fox has acquired the film rights to the classic British mystery novel, "Murder on the Orient Express," Acorn Productions and Agatha Christie Ltd. announced.

The 1934 novel -- one of Christie's most popular -- follows her iconic Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, as he investigates a murder on a train named the Orient Express.

No decisions regarding writers or casting have been confirmed yet, but Ridley Scott, Mark Gordon and Simon Kinberg are producing the film.

"Since acquiring a majority share of Agatha Christie's literary estate in February 2012, we have worked closely with Mathew Prichard, Agatha's grandson, to find the right studio and filmmakers to grow the Christie brand," Miguel Penella, chief executive officer of RLJ Entertainment, said in a statement Wednesday. "We are excited to be working with Fox as well as Ridley Scott, Mark Gordon and Simon Kinberg to produce a new, star-studded adaptation of one of the most well-known mystery novels of all time."

RLJ Entertainment owns a 64 percent share in Agatha Christie Ltd, which manages Christie's extensive literary works including more than 80 novels and short story collections, 19 plays, a film library of nearly 40 TV films, and the iconic characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.

Christie's grandson, Mathew Prichard, is chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd.

"Murder on the Orient Express" was previously made into a 1974 film directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Albert Finney. Additionally, David Suchet portrayed the popular Belgian detective in all 70 television adaptations of Christie's Poirot stories, including "Murder on the Orient Express" in 2010.

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