Taking on the beloved story of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express was a massive project for Kenneth Branagh, who directed, produced and starred in the film adaptation. But he shared with The Hollywood Reporter the most intimidating aspect of the project: directing the famous ensemble cast.
“That’s my point of departure, that’s what I do for a living, but in a way you’re more aware that you’re asking people to come in for a finite amount of time, and you want to give them a good time,” Branagh explained. “So the prospect of standing up in front of Judy Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Derek Jacobi, Willem Dafoe and telling them my cunning plans was a little intimidating.”
While Branagh’s three previously directed projects, Thor, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and Cinderella, were shot using 35mm film, he upgraded to 65mm for Murder on the Orient Express, which he believes will translate to home theater viewing.
“I think the 65 bakes in a kind of majestic density of color and experience that I think Patrick Doyle’s music really helps retain,” he told THR. “And also the digital translation of this into the Blu-ray, HD and the DVD are really first rate. The digital revolution means even these formats... bring the thrill of cinema to your home theater.”
Murder on the Orient Express releases in digital form Feb. 20 and Blu-ray, 4K-UHD on Feb. 27.