Good news for fans of Agatha Christie – it’s almost time for Kenneth Branagh to don his wonderfully over-the-top moustache again for a follow-up to 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express.
Branagh has once again assembled an all star cast for Death on the Nile, an adaptation of Christie’s 1937 novel that saw Hercule Poirot tasked with solving a case while he holidayed in Egypt – which was previously made into a 1978 film starring Peter Ustinov as the enigmatic Belgian sleuth.
Read on for everything we know about the murder mystery so far – including a look at the first trailer for the movie.
When is Death on the Nile released in UK cinemas?
It was originally earmarked for a festive release, then the film was moved forward to 23rd October, but 20th Century Studios has reverted to a Christmas premiere and it will be showing in cinemas from 18th December 2020 .
The release shake-up has been prompted by the coronavirus pandemic and anxiety over box office takings.
What is Death on the Nile about?
In the book, Poirot is pulled into a murder investigation while he is trying to enjoy a holiday in Egypt. He is approached by a socialite, Linnet, who wants to prevent her friend Jacqueline from stalking her after she had married Jacqueline’s fiancee – a request which the detective politely turns down.
But when Linnet is shot dead while travelling on a steamer up the Nile (on which Poirot is also a passenger) it falls to the detective to find the person responsible. Although the most obvious suspect is Jacqueline, no passenger on the boat is safe from Poirot’s investigation.
It remains to be seen whether screenwriter Michael Green will be completely faithful to the book – as was largely the case with his Murder on the Orient Express script (although there were a few relatively minor changes) or whether he will opt to go down the Sarah Phelps route and provide a modern twist. We suspect this will stick fairly close to the source material though!
How does it tie into Murder on the Orient Express?
The books themselves don’t connect to each other beyond the presence of Hecule Poirot, so it seems likely that the same will be true of the films – although given Kenneth Branagh is starring in and directing both they are likely to contain aesthetic and stylistic similarities.
And another similarity is that they both involve Poirot trying to solve a murder aboard a mode of transport – just that a train has been substituted for a boat!
Who is in the cast of Death on the Nile?
In addition to Branagh – who followed in the footsteps of the likes of Albert Finney and David Suchet in playing the iconic detective in the aforementioned 2017 film – a host of Hollywood celebrities and rising stars are set to inject a bit of glamour to the film by appearing in leading roles.
Wonder Woman herself Gal Gadot plays the socialite Linnet, Armie Hammer (Call Me by Your Name) takes on the role of her new husband Simon and Black Panther breakout star Letitia Wright plays Rosalie Otterbourne, the daughter of a romance novelist and a key suspect in the case.
Sex Education’s Emma Mackey portrays the revenge-seeking Jacqueline, while other stars in the ensemble cast include Annette Bening, Sophie Okonedo, Russell Brand, Rose Leslie and Ali Fazal, and there are also roles for both Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.
Killing Eve star Jodie Comer had originally been linked with a role – with Branagh previously stating that “all being well” she would take on a lead role, but it seems that this hasn’t transpired after all. It is thought that Comer would have played Rosalie Otterbourne, the role that has instead gone to Wright.
Meanwhile Tom Bateman returns as Poirot’s offsider, Bouc.
In October 2020, Kenneth Branagh returns with a whole new cast of suspects for Death on the Nile. pic.twitter.com/95OhdAElnj
— 20th Century Studios (@20thcentury) October 1, 2019
Death on The Nile trailer
You can get a first glimpse of the new film – and a reminder of the wonders of Kenneth Branagh’s huge moustache – by checking out the below trailer, which dropped in August 2020.
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