Could Kenneth Branaghs Starry Agatha Christie Murder Mystery A Haunting In Venice Debut On The Lido?

Could Hercule Poirot be headed to this year’s Venice Film Festival?

We hear there’s a chance that 20th Century and Ken Branagh’s A Haunting In Venice could get a fairytale launch on the Lido. Nothing is set but the prospect has been discussed and we understand the film is likely to be submitted to the festival for consideration once it is complete in coming months.

The movie currently has a September 14 release date, which would seemingly fit well with a Venice debut given the festival runs August 30 – September 9.

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The film’s backdrop would also make it a fun choice. Set in an eerie, post-World War II Venice on All Hallows’ Eve, the murder mystery opens with celebrated sleuth Poirot now retired and living in self-imposed exile in the famous city. Poirot reluctantly attends a séance at a decaying, haunted palazzo and when one of the guests is murdered, the detective is thrust into a sinister world of shadows and secrets.

Branagh pulled in another A-list ensemble for his third Agatha Christie adaptation with cast including Kyle Allen, Camille Cottin, Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Jude Hill, Ali Khan, Emma Laird, Kelly Reilly, Michelle Yeoh and Italian star Riccardo Scamarcio. Branagh reprises his role as Poirot and directs. As ever with such a starry ensemble, cost and logistics of getting everyone to Venice would be an important factor.

Michael Green adapted the script, which is based on Christie’s story Hallowe’en Party. It’s the third film in this franchise after 2017’s Murder On The Orient Express and 2022’s Death On The Nile. 20th Century and Disney were last on the Lido in 2021 with Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel.

Among other studio movies to have been speculated for a Lido launch this year are Denis Villeneuve’s anticipated Dune: Part Two and Yorgos Lanthimos/Searchlight duo Poor Things and And (though the latter could also potentially find their way to Cannes). Searchlight is a regular at the festival.

While A-list festival launches aren’t the norm for big Disney movies there is precedent: among movies to debut at Cannes for the studio in the last decade were Solo: A Star Wars Story, The BFG and Inside Out. Fox movies launched on the Riviera have included How To Train Your Dragon 2 in 2014 and further back Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

Venice reveals its lineup in July. Voyons! [Let’s see!] as Poirot would say.

Disney and the festival declined to comment for this article.

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