A Haunting in Venice's Cinematographer Reveals The Secret to Approaching Kenneth Branagh Collaborations (Exclusive)

A Haunting in Venice represents Zambarloukos and Branagh's ninth collaboration.

Hollywood filmmakers tend to turn to those that they are already familiar working with when it comes to assembling a production crew. Christopher Nolan regularly collaborates with Hans Zimmer for his films' scores. JJ Abrams brings his Bad Robot production company along with him for his major motion-pictures. Alejandro González Iñárritu has brought in cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki for his two most critically-acclaimed projects (Birdman, The Revenant). While those aforementioned pairings have all happened on a number of occasions, few have collaborated more than the unit of director Kenneth Branagh and cinematographer Harris Zambarloukos.

Branagh has sat in the director's chair since the first decade of his acting career and has gone on to helm 22 projects. Branagh began working with Zambarloukos in 2007 when the two came together for Sleuth. In the 16 years since, they have been practically inseparable. Zambarloukos fulfilled cinematography duties for a wide variety of Branagh-directed films, from Thor (2011) to the entire Hercule Poirot murder mystery anthologic trilogy.

Kenneth Branagh's Most Frequent Collaborator

(Photo: JC Olivera / Stringer)

Speaking with ComicBook.com, A Haunting in Venice cinematographer Harris Zambarloukos reflected on his 16 years of collaboration with Kenneth Branagh.

"We've both grown and matured a little bit, I hope (laughs)," Zambarloukos said when asked what has changed the most since 2007.

While many of their films have been wildly different, from Cinderella to Belfast, their Hercule Poirot stories retain a similar feel. Branagh began adapting the famed Agatha Christie murder mystery stories for modern feature films with Murder on the Orient Express (2017). That film was followed up with Death on the Nile (2022), another whodunnit that kept Branagh as Poirot but swapped out the previous ensemble for a new cast of suspects. That pattern repeats in A Haunting in Venice.

As much as things change, the more they stay the same. Zambarloukos added that while they've ascended in their talents, he and Branagh try to maintain a newness to their working relationship.

"I think, hopefully, we've kept the same kind of playful and joyful approach to filmmaking that we had when we first did Sleuth," Zambarloukos continued. "I think what we definitely try to do is begin every film as if it's the first time we've ever worked with each other and not take things for granted. Enjoy discovering the story and discovering what Ken is trying to say and achieve at the beginning of a film."

A Haunting in Venice hits theaters this Friday, September 15th.