Letitia Wright has joined the cast of Kenneth Branagh's Death on the Nile. The film will serve as a sequel to Branagh's 2017 Agatha Christie adaptation, Murder on the Orient Express, which he both directed and starred in as the iconic Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. Death on the Nile was scheduled to arrive in November 2019 early on, but was later pushed back to December and then ultimately October 2020. It's pretty clear that Fox made the change to avoid pitting the film against one of Disney's releases, in anticipation of the Mouse House finalizing its acquisition of the company's assets (which finally happened last month).
Written by Michael Green (who also adapted Orient Express), Death on the Nile is based on Christie's novel of the same name (published in 1937), and will follow Branagh's Hercule Poirot - and his gargantuan mustache - as he investigates the mysterious death of an heiress aboard a steamer traveling down the Nile. Much like Orient Express, the film is expected to feature a star-studded ensemble, and has already added Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, and Killing Eve's Jodie Comer to its ranks. Now, a veteran of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has signed on to play a key role in the murder-mystery.
THR is reporting that Wright has joined the Death on the Nile cast, ahead of filming getting underway this September. Specific details on her role (like her character's name) are being kept under-wraps for now, but Wright is said to be playing one of the lead suspects in Poirot's investigation during the movie.
Wright, of course, is best known for playing Wakandan princess and scientific genius Shuri in the MCU's Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. She's clearly got a fondness for genre fare in general, having previously appeared on Doctor Who and the sci-fi series Humans, as well as Black Mirror's "Black Museum" episode and Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One (though her role was extremely small). She's further slated to share the screen with Star Wars' John Boyega in Hold Back the Stars, an upcoming adaptation of Katie Khan's sci-fi novel that's been described as "Romeo and Juliet meets Gravity". And of course, Wright is expected to return as Shuri in Black Panther 2 after Death on the Nile, despite having been "dusted" by Thanos during Infinity War.
As for Branagh's film: it's expected to move forward as planned, even with all the dramatic changes that Disney's making to Fox at the moment. It's being reported that the Mouse House wants Fox to start focusing its efforts on mid-range budgeted productions, in an effort to compliment Disney's own tentpole offerings (live-action remakes, Star Wars and MCU movies, etc.). Fortunately, much like Orient Express, Death on the Nile is expected to have a relatively slim budget for a high-profile release full of A-list actors, so it should be fine. It doesn't hurt that Branagh's previous Agatha Christie adaptation grossed $352 million at the global box office despite overall lukewarm reviews from critics - meaning, there's clearly a demand for more of the actor-director's take on the super-sleuth Poirot.
- Death on the Nile (2020) release date: Oct 09, 2020