Russell Brand is in negotiations to join Kenneth Branagh in 20th Century Fox’s whodunit Death on the Nile, the sequel to 2017’s Agatha Christie adaptation Murder on the Orient Express, Collider has exclusively learned.
Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Letitia Wright, Tom Bateman and four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening are among those expected to star in the film, which is based on Christie’s 1937 novel of the same name.
Death on the Nile was previously brought to the big screen in 1978 with a star-studded cast that included Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, Angela Lansbury, Maggie Smith, Jack Warden, Sam Wanamaker (the Lancer director played by Nicholas Hammond in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) and Peter Ustinov as detective Hercule Poirot.
The film found Poirot enjoying a luxurious cruise down the Nile when a newlywed heiress is found murdered onboard, forcing him to identify the killer before the ship reaches the end of its deadly journey. Branagh will, of course, return to direct and reprise his role as Poirot after Orient Express grossed more than $350 million worldwide.
Orient Express scribe Michael Green is returning to adapt Christie’s marvelous mystery, and the sequel is being produced by Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg, Kevin Walsh, Judy Hofflund and Mark Gordon. Fox executive Steve Asbell will oversee the project on behalf of the Disney-owned label, and Disney will release the film on Oct. 9, 2020.
Brand has a legion of fans thanks to his raucous turn as Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek, and he recently enjoyed a recurring role opposite Dwayne Johnson on HBO’s Ballers. Brand’s most significant recent features include Larry Charles‘ 2016 Nicolas Cage comedy Army of One and Diablo Cody‘s 2013 dramedy Paradise, though he also starred in both Rock of Ages and the remake of Arthur.
Additionally, Brand lent his voice to the first two Despicable Me movies and the 2016 animated hit Trolls, and he’ll soon be seen in the indie Four Kids and It alongside Michael Caine, Paula Patton and Matthew Goode. Brand is also a bestselling author who is developing several feature projects under his Branded Films banner. He’s represented by Tavistock Wood Management and Ziffren Brittenham.