Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley and Judy Dench are among the stars who have boarded a new big screen version of the Agatha Christie classic Murder On The Orient Express.

Kenneth Branagh will direct and play Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot in the film, with shooting due to begin next month in London.

Depp will portray the murder victim, the wealthy millionaire Rachett, Ridley the governess Mary Debenham and Dench the aristocratic Princess Dragomiroff.

Other key members of the ensemble include Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Peņa and Derek Jacobi.

Branagh describes Christie’s novel as “mysterious, compelling and unsettling”. “I’m honoured to have this fantastic group of actors bring these dark materials to life for a new audience,” he adds.

Murder On The Orient Express was previously adapted for the big screen in 1974 with Albert Finney as Poirot and similarly starry cast (Richard Widmark, Sean Connery, Vaness Redgrave, John Gielgud, etc). The most recent screen adaptation was a 2010 ITV production, a special Christmas edition of David Suchet’s Poirot TV series.