Kenneth Branagh’s Death On the Nile movie is eyeing Annette Bening. Throughout his extensive career as an actor and filmmaker, Branagh has ventured deep into esteemed theatrical film adaptations such as Hamlet, Othello, and Much Ado About Nothing, but he’s also taken on pop culture works like Thor and the upcoming Artemis Fowl adaptation.
Most recently, Branagh found success with his adaption of best-selling crime author Agatha Christie’s classic novel, Murder on the Orient Express. The film was a star-studded affair, bringing together the likes of Judi Dench, Olivia Coleman, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, and Branagh himself as super sleuth Hercule Poirot. With box office tallies indicating that the worldwide audience response to Murder on the Orient Express was one of considerable enthusiasm, Branagh is set to bring another Agatha Christie novel to the big screen next year with Death on the Nile. At present, there isn’t a lot known about the cast the celebrated filmmaker intends to put together for the murder mystery, but some recent news indicates things are about to change.
According to Deadline, Branagh’s latest project is moving toward casting four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening. Though nothing has been confirmed with regard to Bening’s involvement as of this writing, Death on the Nile has so far secured the talents of Letitia Wright, Tom Bateman, Armie Hammer, and Gal Gadot. In addition to these stars, Branagh will also return to his Poirot role. Bening has built a lengthy and acclaimed career since making her film debut in the 1987 John Candy/Dan Aykroyd comedy The Great Outdoors (which soon to be rebooted with Kevin Hart).
The events of Death on the Nile take place on the famed Nile River in Egypt during a cruise and see Detective Poirot attempting to enjoy his vacation. Unfortunately for him - and the victim - a murder is committed on board the steamer, thereby disrupting the fun of its passengers. But of course, in typical Agatha Christie style, at least one of the passengers has a very dark secret indeed, and Poirot takes it upon himself to find out exactly who that passenger is. The story dates back to the 1937 novel of the same name and, like Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile was previously adapted as a big screen version in the 1970s, complete with a celebrated cast that included Bette Davis, David Niven, and Angela Lansbury.
While Murder on the Orient Express may have been a financial success for Branagh and all involved, the film suffered from a somewhat dull and repetitive plot that never quite felt as though it made adequate use of its talented stars. Judging by the plot of Death on the Nile, audiences might be receiving something similar to Murder on the Orient Express, except this time the murder and mystery take place on a steamer rather than a train. This might not be accurate, or even fair to say, of course, as Branagh has been a filmmaker for long enough to understand that audiences will want something more. Still, even if Death on the Nile doesn’t drift far from its source material, there are plenty of Agatha Christie and Branagh fans out there to turn this into a potential hit.
- Death on the Nile (2020) release date: Oct 09, 2020