Murder on the Orient Express is the fourth on-screen adaptation of Agatha Christie’s mystery novel, so the marketing team had to convince audiences they were seeing something new.
“We asked ourselves almost every day, ‘How do we celebrate its timelessness and yet reinvent at the same time [as if] we’re hearing a great piece of music again new?’” Actor/director Kenneth Branaugh told People on adapting the classic tale. “Well, you need different interpreters, so the cast becomes really critical.”
As with its award-winning 1974 predecessor, Murder on the Orient Express unites an all-star cast—each portraying a suspect in the murder to be solved by Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh). Marketing for the film highlights each character with a brief description that suggests hidden motivations.
— Orient Express Movie (@MOTOEmovie) November 7, 2017
Follow The Clues
Beyond highlighting big names like Johnny Depp and Daisy Ridley, marketing for the film focuses on the love of a good mystery.
Months ahead of the premiere, a series of clues began to surface for fans to discover—the first being a train ticket appearing on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. Over the course of the Murder on the Orient Express marketing campaign, a number of clues were featured in trailers, on posters and during TV appearances by the movie’s actors.
Each of these small clues, which implicate a new suspect in the murder investigation, can be entered onto the official website to learn more about each character. There, fans can also explore a train car scene and click on items to examine them for additional clues about the murder.
The Infamous Mustache
Agatha Christie’s famed detective, Hercule Poirot is known for his sharp eye, neatness and a curled mustache. To celebrate Movember—a yearly mustache-growing tradition to support men’s health—20th Century Fox teamed up with the Movember Foundation and encouraged fans to “grow their mo like Poirot.”
A dedicated team was established to raise funds for the organization, using photos of mustachioed characters from Murder on the Orient Express.
Kenneth Branagh also took over the official IMDb Twitter account for a Q&A session, calling it “Mustache Me Anything,” a nod to Reddit’s Ask Me Anything. Branagh answered questions via text and video about the film’s production and miscellaneous topics.
Opulence For Sale
Murder on the Orient Express takes place on a luxury train in a time of 1930s opulence, and Home Shopping Network curated a designer collection inspired by the aesthetics of the film’s time period. The collection includes items such as furs, gloves, jewelry, home furnishings and luggage, as well as additional clues to explore on the film’s official website. Visitors to the Home Shopping Network site can also view exclusive videos from behind-the-scenes of the movie.
Godiva also teamed up with 20th Century Fox to create a series of chocolate gift sets inspired by the movie. A dedicated page on the Godiva website features bios for each of the suspects, another clue to add to the movie’s website and a chance to win a trip to San Francisco.
Murder on the Orient Express is expected to earn between $19 and 25 million during its opening weekend in the US.