When Neil LaBute shoots this summer on his Agatha Christie adaptation, The Crooked House, he’ll have a corker of a cast. According to Variety, Julie Andrews, Gemma Arterton, Matthew Goode and Gabriel Byrne have all now signed on.
I’ve been waiting a while for these star-studded murder mystery films to catch on again, largely because I enjoy their ensembles of pretty young things and distinguished character actors, all getting together for a big old game of dressing up.
While the report doesn’t specify who is playing which character, you might be able to make some educated guesses based on this dramatis personae I cribbed from Wikipedia:
- Charles Hayward, fiancé to Sophia Leonides
- Sophia Leonides, daughter of Magda and Philip Leonides, granddaughter of Aristide
- Brenda Leonides, the spoiled young widow of Aristide Leonides
- Magda West, a glamorous stage actress
- Edith de Haviland, Sophia’s elderly great-aunt
- Roger Leonides, son of Aristide
- Clemency Leonides, his wife, a scientist
- Philip Leonides, Magda’s husband and Roger’s brother
- Laurence Brown, teacher to Josephine and Eustace
- Josephine Leonides, Magda’s 12-year-old daughter
- Eustace Leonides, her brother
Imagine how long a game of Cluedo would take if you had to sift through that lot.
The film’s script has been co-written by Julian Fellowes and Tim Rose Price. Fellowes is the man behind Gosford Park while Rose Price also penned the sort-of-Christie-like Crystal Skulls. Hopefully useful experiences in the writing of this film. LaBute can bring the moral ambiguity and understanding of human cruelty.
I’m expecting the sharpest and most purposeful Agatha Christie film to date.