A Haunting in Venice producer on why the franchise is leaning into the supernatural: "We can't do the same thing over and over"

Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot in A Haunting in Venice
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios/Total Film)

Kenneth Branagh's super sleuth Hercule Poirot has come face to face with his fair share of murderers on screen but in A Haunting in Venice, the upcoming chapter in the Agatha Christie-inspired movie series, he's up against something more unusual: pesky poltergeists. Well, kind of, anyway.

In the new issue of Total Film magazine, which is out on newsstands on Thursday, August 17, executive producer James Prichard explains how the titular novel's nods to the paranormal are just what the franchise needed – and how important it was to shake things up with the third movie, which follows on from 2017's A Murder on the Orient Express and last year's Death on the Nile. 

"If we are going to continue to make these films, we can't do the same thing over and over," he tells us, alongside an exclusive new look at the film, which you can see above. "A departure at this moment is possibly risky, but it also has the potential to keep it alive, bring in a different audience, and do something interesting that will hopefully surprise and delight."

Like its predecessors, A Haunting in Venice boasts a starry ensemble cast, including Kelly Reilly, Camille Cottin, and Jamie Dornan. It sees Poirot persuaded out of retirement (and self-imposed exile) by his old pal Ariadne (Tina Fey), and tasked with investigating some strange goings-on in Italy. There, the detective duo attend a Halloween séance hosted by Michelle Yeoh's eccentric medium Joyce Reynolds, and become acquainted with grieving mother Rowena, whose missing daughter's absence hangs heavy over the decaying palazzo. 

Branagh reprises his role as Poirot, and directs too, working from a screenplay by Michael Green. "If Ken wants to do more, and Michael wants to write more, we'll certainly do another," Prichard adds. "There's a lot of material still to go, so we're not going to run out of inspiration."

A Haunting in Venice opens in cinemas on September 15. The above is just a snippet of our interview in the new issue of Total Film magazine, which features The Marvels on the cover. The magazine hits shelves this Thursday, August 17. 

This issue also comes with a free 48-page photo supplement looking behind the scenes at Warner Bros to mark 100 years of the studio. Check out the covers below:

Total Film

(Image credit: Future)

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Total Film

(Image credit: Future)
Freelance Writer

Neil Smith is a freelance film critic who has written for several publications, including Total Film. His bylines can be found at the BBC, Film 4 Independent, Uncut Magazine, SFX Magazine, Heat Magazine, Popcorn, and more. 

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