When Detective Hercule Poirot boards the Orient Express from Istanbul to London, he's at the tail-end of his vacation. Can't a detective just get a crime-free week for a change? Alas, work never ceases for Poirot, the central mystery-solver of the
Agatha Christie novel . One of the passengers on the train, Murder on the Orient Express Edward Ratchett, turns up dead — and someone on board is to blame. But who?
You'll find the answer this Friday, when a new film adaptation of
Murder on the Orient Express hits theaters. There are a to keep track of. Like, lot of potential suspects 13 suspects. What would compel someone on the train to murder Ratchett? And why are there so many passengers on a train that's typically empty this time of year? Poirot has a feeling there's something he's missing.
Here's a spoiler-free rundown of Poirot's fellow passengers, one of whom is definitely guilty of murder.
Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot The Detective It's very convenient that famed detective Hercule Poirot is aboard to solve the brutal stabbing of Edward Ratchett. If you love this uptight mustachioed Belgian detective, you can catch his character in a grand total of 33 Christie novels and 50 short stories.
Tom Bateman as M. Bouc The Owner Bouc is the owner of the Orient Express and isn't used to murders occurring on his train lines. He and Poirot have a longstanding friendship, and so he helps the detective during the investigation. He's certainly not as sharp as Poirot — but then, who is?
Daisy Ridley as Mary Debenham The Governess Poirot almost immediately pegs Mary, a British governess, as the murderer. Earlier on his travels, he had caught Mary and Dr. Abuthnot deep in conversation, which clearly can only mean one thing: Collusion. She has a cool, calm demeanor, which only occasionally breaks under Poirot's insistent questioning.
Leslie Odom Jr. as Doctor Abuthnot The Physician He's called Colonel Abuthnot in the novel. According to Poirot, his principal personality trait is "British." He's Mary's lover. Pictured: first from the right
Johnny Depp as Edward Ratchett The Gangster The first time Poirot encounters Edward Ratchett in the novel, he remarks, "I could not rid myself of the impression that evil had passed me by very close." So when Ratchett turns up dead, Poirot suspects he was murdered for a reason. Everyone acknowledges Ratchett is the worst. Upon discovering his death in the book, Bouc, who's played by Tom Bateman in the film, pronounces, " Ah! Quel animal! … I cannot regret that he is dead – not at all!"
Josh Gad as Hector MacQueen The Assistant MacQueen, a young American, has the unfortunate duty of working as Mr. Ratchett's secretary.
Judi Dench as Princess Dragomiroff The Princess The elderly Russian princess may be frail, but she's tough. As Poirot tells her, "Your strength is in your will — not in your arm." She's also described by another character as being "ugly as sin," but that's besides the point.
Olivia Coleman as Hildegarde Schmidt The Maid Working for Princess Dragomiroff can't be easy. Still, this German lady's maid is loyal and devoted to Princess Dragomiroff.
Michelle Pfeiffer as Caroline Hubbard The Widow Caroline Hubbard stands out for her sheer Americanness. She's constantly speaking about her daughter, and adopts a very dramatic attitude about everything. Oh, Americans.
Penélope Cruz as Pilar Estravedos The Missionary Pilar is Spanish missionary, and she's also an entirely new creation. In the book, the missionary character's name is Greta Ohlsson, and she's Swedish.
Sergei Polunin as Count Rudolph Adrenyi The Count The Count and his wife travel around the world in the utmost luxury, thanks to their Hungarian passports and their royal status.
Lucy Boynton as Countess Elena Andrenyi The Countess She's the quiet and beautiful wife of the Count.
Derek Jacobi as Edward Henry Masterman The Butler The even-keeled Edward Masterman acts as Ratchett's valet on the train.
Marwan Kenzari as Pierre Michel The Conductor Pierre Michel moves the plot forward — literally. He's the conductor on the Orient Express.
William Dafoe as Gerhard Hardman The Professor This is one character who seems to have changed significantly from the book. In the book, his name is Cyrus Hardman, and he's an American private invesgiator that Ratchett had hired for protection. In the film, Gerhard Hardman is an aloof German professor who watches the others, but doesn't participate.
Manuel-Garcia Rulfo as Biniamino Marquez The Salesman He's a cocky car salesman. Should we be suspicious? This character is altered from the book's Antonio Foscarelli.
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