In a move heralded in hindsight by the myriad of unnecessary alterations made to the author’s work in the cinematic franchise’s last two entries, A Haunting In Venice executive producer James Pritchard has revealed that the upcoming threequel will feature “a significant number of changes” compared to Agatha Christie’s original work.
Pritchard, who also serves as the CEO of the Agatha Christie Estate, spoke to the film’s deviation from its source material, Christie’s Hallowe’en Party, during a promotional interview given to The Direct’s Russ Milheim.
“There are a significant number of changes in the story,” Pritchard told Milheim. “And yes, one of the clues is in the title.”
“With Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile, we had done two very, pretty faithful adaptations of two pretty famous, pretty big books,” he then explained. “And Michael Green, the writer, and Kenneth Branagh, obviously, the director and [Hercule Poirot] felt that we should maybe surprise our audience with this and try something a little bit different.”
“And the main difference they were looking for was tonal,” Pritchard added. “They wanted to play a little bit with the horror genre, and they felt a Hallowe’en Party was a great launchpad into that.”
Turning to one of the most significant differences between Hallowe’en Party and its silver screen translation, Pritchard next asserted that the decision to move the story’s setting from a family home in England to the extravagant streets of Venice was “quite an early change that they came up with.”
“There were two potential reasons for that,” he recalled. “One of which is, you know, if you’re going to make a Hollywood movie, you want a great backdrop, and Venice is well, not many backdrops come better than Venice. So there was the kind of cinematic elements of it.”
Ultimately, the man in charge of Christie’s estate closed out his thoughts on the topic by affirming to Milheim, “I can’t think of anything that didn’t work or couldn’t work.”
“One of the extraordinary things about Michael Green as a writer is that he almost seems to, with his first draft, get everything correct,” he praised. “And very little changes from there, he seems to know what works from the go-get. So actually, I suspect if you went back to that first draft and matched it with what’s on screen, there wouldn’t be too much difference. So yeah, it’s pretty much all there.”
Published by Christie in 1969, the original Hallowe’en Party story finds the renowned and impressively-moustached Hercule Poirot called in to the English estate of Woodleigh Common when the titular event comes to a screeching halt thanks to the sudden murder of 13-year-old attendee Joyce Reynolds.
Suspecting the girl may have been killed for having witnessed a murder in the past, Poirot dons his metaphorical inspectors cap and sets out to solve not only Joyce’s murder, but also the other numerous murders which have taken place on the Woodleigh Common grounds in recent years.
While the exact changes Branagh will be making to the story have yet to be detailed, in addition to moving its location to Venice, the film’s most recent trailer confirms the film will also see the addition of a new scene in which its cast perform a full on seance in the hopes of getting to the bottom of their murder-mystery.
At current, A Haunting in Venice is set to begin spooking theater-goers on September 15th.