After the surprise success of 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express, director Kenneth Branagh is back with another adventure starring himself as the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, in an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile. This time around also, Branagh is joined by a star-studded cast, including Armie Hammer, who told Total Film about the one aspect of making the movie that disappointed him:
“I’m still quite sore about being sold a false bill of goods that we were going to shoot this actually in Egypt. Then it moved to Morocco, and I was like, ‘Hey, that’s still cool’. And then it moved to Longcross [studios in Surrey], and I was like… ‘Wait a second – it’s Death On The Nile! We need sunshine.”
As the name suggests, Death on the Nile tells a story set in Egypt, on the Nile river, where Hercule Poirot finds himself entangled in a love triangle with a murder at the heart of the whole affair. While previous adaptations of Christie’s novel were actually filmed in exotic locales, Branagh found it was more convenient to use GCI and elaborate sets to bring the relevant parts of Egypt to the U.K., as he explained.
“You have to deliver, I think, on these films. We’ve sort of made a contract with the audience to take them away. And particularly in the world we’re living with, a cinematic vacation I think is something that people might really appreciate: escaping to an amazing landscape. We did visit real Egypt, but we also recreated the Temple of Abu Simbel to its 150-ft height. We built an absolutely enormous Karnak Nile steamer. We built a massive water tank for it to sit in and float in, so we could have real water, a real boat, real people, and occasionally, in England, real sunshine.”
With the box-office growing increasingly reliant on superhero movies, other genres of films have become sidelined. Still, with the success of Murder on the Orient Express, Knives Out, and the high amount of audience interest in the trailers for Death on the Nile and Enola Holmes, it seems the appeal of a complex, well-told mystery with a charismatic detective at the center has not lessened.
For Branagh, Death on the Nile will be a way to get back his directorial cred after the widely-criticized adaptation of Artemis Fowl that he helmed for Disney earlier this year. The movie will also see Gal Gadot’s attempt to step out of the shadow of her Wonder Woman persona with a central role as the alluring and tortured Linnet Ridgeway-Doyle.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh, based on a screenplay by Michael Green, Death on the Nile features Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Kenneth Branagh, Letitia Wright, Annette Bening, Sophie Okonedo, Russell Brand, Dawn French, Ali Fazal and Tom Bateman. The film is expected to hit theaters on October 23. This news first appeared at Games Radar.
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