Reason For A Haunting in Venice's Title Change From Agatha Christie's Halloween Party Revealed (Exclusive)

"This is a very different adaptation [compared] to the first two," executive producer James Pritchard said.

Kenneth Branagh has completed a Hercule Poirot trilogy. A Haunting in Venice represents the third time that Branagh has donned the thick mustache and sat in the director's chair for a murder mystery film based on an Agatha Christie novel. Branagh first portrayed and directed Poirot in 2017 with Murder on the Orient Express, a modern telling of what is arguably the detective's most famous adventure. Branagh followed that up with Death on the Nile (2022), a whodunnit that takes place on a Nile River-bound cruise ship. While all three of these films are connected, A Haunting in Venice has one notable aesthetic departure from the previous installments: its title.

Why Did A Haunting in Venice Change Its Title?

(Photo: Jonathan Brady – PA Images / Contributor, 20th Century Fox)

Speaking to, A Haunting in Venice executive producer and Agatha Christie Limited Chairman, CEO James Pritchard noted that while this film is based on Agatha Christie's Hallowe'en Party, it was not a direct enough adaptation to warrant carrying on the book's title.

"This is a very different adaptation [compared] to the first two," Pritchard said. "The first two were very straight faithful adaptations of the original titles, both big famous books. This is very different."

That said, this departure from the source material was by design. Pritchard added that A Haunting in Venice screenwriter Michael Green had always intended to create a story inspired by Hallowe'en Party rather than bring every page to life.

"Michael Green from the start wanted to use Hallowe'en Party as more of a launch pad for something," Pritchard continued. "He wanted to use it as a way of creating a different tone. He felt that having made those first big films, famous stories into big films, that he wanted to do something different. He wanted to surprise our audience."

The differences between A Haunting in Venice and its predecessors go beyond the title change too.

"This is a very different movie in tone. It has elements of horror. It has elements of suspense. It also departs quite a long way from the original story, both in terms of storyline but obviously also in terms of location," Pritchard added. "The book is set in an English country village. This is obviously set in Venice. He has changed the story in, in quite a dramatic fashion, but it is at heart a murder mystery and that is the core of the story."

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