Kenneth Branagh’s Hercule Poirot is once again solving a murder on the go with the upcoming Agatha Christie adaptation Death on the Nile. The follow-up to Murder on the Orient Express features a huge cast, who will board the S.S. Karnak on the Nile River amidst some bloodshed, and Poirot will attempt to outsmart the murderer’s plot. Call Me By Your Name’s Armie Hammer has a central role in the film as Simon Doyle, who is in the middle of a love triangle between Gal Gadot’s Linnet and Emma Mackey’s Jacqueline.
Though Armie Hammer did admit he had a small qualm with Death on the Nile after signing on to the flick. The actor said this during an interview with Total Film:
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.'
That’s right. Although the movie is centered on a plot taking place in Egypt, Death on the Nile does not actually take place there in real life. Armie Hammer talked about how he was given a “false bill of goods” by the filmmakers, thinking he’d be traveling over to Egypt for the role. However, the movie was mainly filmed over in England at Longcross Studios in Surrey.
There was a point when the movie was going to be shot in Morocco, but Armie Hammer sounds like he was a bit disappointed to learn he wouldn’t be visiting the real ancient ruins along the Nile where the movie is set. It's an understandable bummer – I’d expect to go over to Egypt too if I was him. Director and star Kenneth Branagh did explain how Egypt did play a part in the production process of Death on the Nile with these words:
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… [laughs], occasionally, in England, real sunshine.
Kenneth Branagh implemented a slew of expensive practical effects for Death on the Nile that gave the cast and crew a feeling they were in Egypt and on the Nile, even though they couldn’t be further away. To look behind the curtain for a moment, the truth is most movies set in Egypt were not filmed there. 1999’s The Mummy: Morocco. 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark: Tunisia.
It’s a complex process today for studios to get permission to film on location in Egypt, especially when it comes to shooting in the country’s historic ruins. Filmmakers have to give their scripts to the Interior Ministry’s Public Relations Sector of the country and obtain shooting permits. Chances are it was much easier for the production to film in Surrey and reinvent the setting via practical effects and CGI. Check out the Death on the Nile trailer below:
Death on the Nile also stars Letitia Wright, Annette Bening, Sophie Okonedo, Russell Brand, Dawn French, Dawn French, Ali Fazal and Tom Bateman. The film is expected to hit theaters on October 23. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more coverage about the movie and check out what’s coming next with our 2020 release calendar.