Director Kenneth Branagh is returning with another Agatha Christie adaptation, following up on his commercially successful and star-studded “Murder on the Orient Express,” which hit theaters in 2017. “Death on the Nile” will see a similarly pedigreed cast of British and international favorites embroiled in another Christie caper of chin-scratching proportions. Branagh has once again teamed up with his “Orient Express” screenwriter Michael Green for the adaptation from 20th Century Studios, which just released an official first trailer for the mystery thriller.
“Death on the Nile” will see Branagh returning in the role of beloved fictional detective Hercule Poirot. The rest of the stacked cast includes Gal Gadot, Letitia Wright, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening, Ali Fazal, Sophie Okonedo, Tom Bateman, Emma Mackey, Dawn French, Rose Leslie, Jennifer Saunders, and Russell Brand.
The plot follows Poirot, a world-renowned detective, who becomes involved in a love triangle gone murderously bad while on a vacation in Egypt. Branagh was already in pre-production on “Nile” when he spoke to the Associated Press in 2017. In that interview, he teased the idea of creating a Christie/Poirot-inspired “cinematic universe” of sorts.
“I think there are possibilities, aren’t there? With 66 books and short stories and plays, she — and she often brings people together in her own books actually, so innately — she enjoyed that,” he told the outlet. “You feel as though there is a world — just like with Dickens, there’s a complete world that she’s created — certain kinds of characters who live in her world — that I think has real possibilities.”
This is not the first screen adaptation of Christie’s 1937 novel. The 1978 film “Death on the Nile” starred Peter Ustinov, Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, Jane Birken, Angela Lansbury, David Niven, and Maggie Smith. It was directed by John Guillermin and adapted by Anthony Shaffer.
Branagh’s “Murder on the Orient Express” featured an all-star cast that included Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, Willem Dafoe, Derek Jacobi, Olivia Colman, Leslie Odom, Jr., and Lucy Boynton. The international hit grossed $352 million off a budget of $55 million.
“Death on the Nile” will be released by 20th Century Studios on October 23, 2020. Check out the star-studded first trailer below.