Armie Hammer joins the cast of Death on the Nile. Agatha Christie's famous detective Hercule Poirot was reborn last year at the hands of acclaimed actor and director Kenneth Branagh. He rebooted the character through Murder on the Orient Express, which he both starred in as Poirot and directed. On the backs of an A-list cast that included Daisy Ridley, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, and many more, the mystery film found great success at the box office despite mixed reviews. Still, with a $350 million worldwide gross (on a reported budget of $55M), Fox quickly moved forward with the sequel that the final few minutes of the movie set up.
Branagh is of course returning to direct and star, with Orient Express' writer Michael Green also returning to pen the script. The movie has been progressing nicely and just recently announced Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot had landed the female lead role. She is just one of many new faces who will eventually join the ensemble film, and now the new male lead has been found, too.
Deadline reports Armie Hammer is set to play the male lead in Death on the Nile. There is no confirmation as to which character from Christie's novel Hammer will be playing. This marks his latest career move after a stellar performance in Call Me By Your Name and a small role in Sorry to Bother You. Hammer will be seen during awards season this year opposite Felicity Jones in On the Basis of Sex, but he'll now get the opportunity to star in a potential financial hit.
Although Hammer's role is not yet confirmed, the plot of Death on the Nile and information on Gadot's role are clues to solving the mystery. Gadot is reportedly playing Linnet Doyle, a recently married woman. In Christie's novel, Linnet marries Simon Doyle, the fiancé of her best friend Jacqueline de Bellefort. Since Gadot and Hammer are the first two to join and are described as leading roles, it appears Death on the Nile has found its Simon Boyle - but that will still need to be confirmed.
Now that Hammer is onboard Death on the Nile, the project will continue to move forward with a spring 2019 start date in mind. Christie's book featured an additional 14 characters that mysteriously start to die one by one as the killer's identity attempts to be uncovered. It is unclear if Green and Branagh plan to utilize this large of a cast for their adaptation, but they did have nine main cast members last time, and sequels do tend to go bigger. However many more characters they include, Hammer and Gadot are just the first of many that will join Death on the Nile, and it's already in good position securing these two major stars.