Belfast Telegraph

Branagh's tribute to Wallander author as he scoops top Emmy

By Lucy Mapstone

Sir Kenneth Branagh has said the late Wallander author Henning Mankell would have been "delighted" as the actor received an International Emmy award for his role in the TV series.

The Belfast-born star won the best actor prize at the prestigious US awards ceremony for his portrayal of Swedish police detective Kurt Wallander in the BBC drama series, the first English-language adaptation of Mankell's novels.

He said: "Henning Mankell was an internationalist. He would have been delighted at this Emmy recognition.

"Our Wallander was made by a truly international group of artists, who loved this troubled policeman as much as the public did.

"It was a privilege to inhabit that fracturing mind over 12 films. The International Academy have created a fantastic way to say farewell."

Sir Kenneth has also confirmed that he will return for a follow-up to Murder On The Orient Express, and that Twentieth Century Fox is behind the big-screen effort.

He added: "Coming at exactly the time Fox have committed to developing a second Poirot film, it's been a hell of a day at the office!"

The Bafta and Olivier award- winning actor starred as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in Murder On The Orient Express, an adaptation of Agatha Christie's classic 1934 novel, which he also directed.

Despite middling reviews, the film was a box office hit in the UK and US.

Sir Kenneth was accompanied in this year's release by a star studded cast, including the likes of Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, Sir Derek Jacobi, Dame Judi Dench and Olivia Colman.

He will return as both director and Poirot in an upcoming remake of Christie's novel Death On The Nile.

In Christie's original story, Poirot finds himself embroiled in a deadly love triangle while holidaying in Egypt.

It was adapted for the big screen in 1978 by John Guillermin and starred Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, Dame Angela Lansbury and Dame Maggie Smith, with Peter Ustinov as Poirot.

First published in 1937, the story sees the famous mustachioed Belgian detective visiting Egypt when a bloody murder takes place on a riverboat travelling down the Nile.

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