Production has begun on Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express sequel, Death on the Nile. Based on the 1937 Agatha Christie novel of the same name, the plot has Hercule Poirot (Branagh) headed to Egypt to solve a murder after an idyllic honeymoon is shattered by violent deaths.
We also now have the full cast list for the film. Branagh will reunite with Tom Bateman, who plays Bouc, and they’ll be joined by Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders, and Letitia Wright. That’s a strong line-up of talent, and I’m eager to see how it all comes together. Michael Green, who wrote Murder on the Orient Express, also penned Death on the Nile.
And most exciting of all is that Branagh is going to shoot in 65mm! Here’s a statement from the star/director:
“Crimes of passion are dangerously sexy,” says Kenneth Branagh. “Agatha Christie has written a riveting story of emotional chaos and violent criminality and Michael Green has once again written a screenplay to match. With a cherished group of long-time artistic collaborators and a brilliant international cast, it is truly a pleasure to join Disney, Fox and Agatha Christie, Ltd. in bringing this daring thriller to the big screen. There are significant new twists, an awe-inspiring desert landscape and a chance to celebrate big screen entertainment in glorious 65 millimetre celluloid!”
I mostly enjoyed Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express even if it kind of came apart at the end, so I’m eager to see him (and his luxurious moustache) get a second crack at Poirot, especially with another terrific ensemble at his disposal. It also makes sense why Fox/Disney would pursue this as a franchise. The first film only cost $55 million but pulled in $352 million worldwide. There’s an audience that wants to see glamorous people in a classic mystery tale.
Death on the Nile is currently set to open on October 9, 2020. Here’s the official synopsis:
In “Death on the Nile,” Hercule Poirot’s Egyptian adventure aboard a glamorous river steamer descends into a terrifying search for a murderer when an idyllic honeymoon is shattered by violent deaths. This sinister tale of obsessive love and its murderous consequences plays out in an epic landscape of danger and foreboding, with enough shocking twists and turns to leave audiences unsettled and guessing until the final, shocking denouement.