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Following Rian Johnson’s whodunit Knives Out, Hollywood is gearing up to retell another classic murder mystery by Agatha Christie. From the creatives behind 2017 sneaky hit Murder on the Orient Express, comes the next installment: Death on the Nile later this year. Director and the franchise’s star Kenneth Branagh has assembled a talented cast. Take a look:
These are some big names! Three years after publishing Murder on the Orient Express, with six other novels of Detective Hercule Poirot’s murder mysteries in between, came Death on the Nile in 1937. The book was previously adapted to film in 1978 with Bette Davis, Mia Farrow and Maggie Smith holding roles. It follows the detective enjoying a fancy cruise down the Nile River until a wealthy heiress is murdered on board and he must solve it before they have a chance to escape when the boat docks. Let's dive into the Death on the Nile cast:
Reprising his role from Murder on the Orient Express as the mustachioed Detective Hercule Poirot is Kenneth Branagh. Just as the actor pulled double duty on the 2017 whodunit, he’ll also be directing Death on the Nile as well. Branagh is well-established in both filmmaking crafts, previously holding many Shakespeare roles on films such as Henry V, Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing and also recently directing the first Thor and the live-action Cinderella.
Wonder Woman herself will be joining in on the Nile cruise, but much like Johnny Depp’s role in Murder on the Orient Express was shortened by the plotline, so might Gal Gadot’s. She will play Linnet Ridgeway Doyle, the heiress victim at the center of the story. This will be Gadot’s second big movie of 2020, considering she’s making her triumphant return as Diana Prince in Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984 over summer.
Another actress best known in the comic book world is Letitia Wright, who debuted her Shuri in 2018’s phenomenon, Black Panther. The 26-year-old actress has since starred in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame as T’Challa’s genius younger sister along with memorable roles in AMC’s Humans and in the chilling “Black Museum” episode of Black Mirror. She’s expected to play Rosalie Otterbourne, the daughter of an American erotica novelist.
First introduced to many of us as the twins in The Social Network is Armie Hammer. He’s had an impressive decade in movies starring in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Call Me By Your Name, Sorry To Bother You and On the Basis of Sex. Next, he’ll play Simon Doyle in Death on the Nile. Doyle is the fiancé to Jacqueline de Bellefort, who is best friends with Gal Gadot’s character until Doyle meets the Wonder Woman actress and marries her instead.
Four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening is also joining the cast of Death on the Nile. She recently played the Supreme Intelligence in Captain Marvel and Senator Dianne Feinstein in The Report with Adam Driver. She’s also well-known for her dramatic work in American Beauty, The Kids Are All Right and The American President. She’s said to be playing a role of “Euphemia”, which isn’t a listed name from the book. Perhaps she’ll take on Maggie Rogers’ 1978 role of American socialite Marie Van Schuyler nurse Miss Bowers?
Additionally, Bollywood actor Ali Fazel has joined Death on the Nile. Along with his work in his home country, Fazel played Safar in 2015’s Furious 7 and as Abdul Karim in Victoria & Abdul starring Judi Dench as Queen Victoria in 2017. The movie about an unlikely friendship between the queen and her Indian clerk was nominated for two Oscars. Fazal’s role in Death on the Nile has not been disclosed.
Playing the American erotica novelist mother to Letitia Wright’s Rosalie is Sophie Okonedo. The English actress is best known for her Oscar-nominated role in 2004’s Hotel Rwanda opposite Don Cheadle. Okonedo has frequented BBC television with roles in Undercover, The Escape Artist and Doctor Who and she recently was in 2019’s Hellboy as Lady Hatton. In the 1978 version, the legendary Angela Lansbury played this part of Salome Otterbourne.
The second returning member to Kenneth Branagh’s whodunit franchise is Tom Bateman, who will once again play Detective Hercule Poirot’s right-hand man, Bouc. Bateman is a British actor who was recently in Cold Pursuit with Liam Neeson and Laura Dern and in the 2017 comedy Snatched with Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn. Bouc will likely assist Hercule in solving the murder case on the Nile cruise.
One of Netflix’s best new hit series of 2019 was Sex Education, which introduced many to Emma Mackey. The young actress plays the pink-haired Maeve Wiley opposite Asa Butterfield’s Otis and Ncuti Gatwa’s Eric. Sex Education was Mackey’s first leading role and Death on the Nile will be her first theatrical movie ever. She’ll play the aforementioned Jacqueline de Bellefort, who becomes broken-hearted by her best friend (Gadot) taking her man (Hammer).
Dawn French & Jennifer Saunders
Another casting choice British audiences will know well is Dawn French and Jennifer Saunder’s involvement in Death on the Nile. The pair have been paired up for their BBC comedy sketch comedy show since it first aired in 1987. The two women were behind some very popular spoofs and satires in the ‘80s and ‘90s about pop culture, movies, celebrities and art. Apart from this, you’ve seen Dawn French in Harry Potter as the Lady in the Painting and Jennifer Saunders in Absolutely Fabulous. Their specific roles have not been announced.
Game of Thrones’ Ygritte will be in Death on the Nile too. Besides being a part of the highly-popular HBO show from 2012 to 2014, Leslie Rose was also in Downton Abbey. She is the real-life wife to Kit Harington and recently wrapped up her role after three seasons as Maia Rindell in NBC’s The Good Fight. Rose Leslie is said to be playing Louise Bourget in the upcoming whodunit. Louise is the maid to Gal Gadot’s Linnet Ridgeway Doyle.
Rounding out the Death on the Nile cast is Russell Brand, who is an English comedian and actor. After starting off in stand-up, Brand had an early career as a presenter for MTV before moving into the movie business to star in Forgetting Sarah Marshall alongside Jason Segal, Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis. He has been in Get Him to the Greek, Despicable Me and the 2011 remake of Arthur as well. His role in the upcoming movie has not been named.
Are you excited about Death on the Nile? The movie comes to theaters on October 9, 2019. Check out the full 2020 movie release calendar for your next trip to the movies in the meantime!