Much like coronavirus or last night’s garlic sauce breath, the gap between Hercule Poirot adventures is beginning to get tiresome. The long-awaited follow up to Kenneth Branagh’s 2017 Agatha Christie adaption Murder on the Orient Express has taken some serious time to hit our screens. From an ongoing pandemic that postponed production and closed up theatres to the misbehaviour of its lead cast, Death on the Nile has faced some hurdles. But with the new release of a new star-studded trailer, the slow limp to the premiere is finally coming to an end.
Unveiled overnight, the new Death on the Nile teaser throws Agatha Christie’s iconic gentleman detective into the strangest of settings. Based on the 1937 novel, the film sees Hercule Poirot’s Egyptian vacation aboard a glamorous river steamer slip into a terrifying search for a murderer. When a picture-perfect couple’s idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short, the Belgian sleuth with the trademark moustache is forced to quiz his eclectic group of suspects to find the killer.
Set against a stunning backdrop that features sweeping desert vistas and the magnificent Giza pyramids, Death on the Nile brings Branagh’s portrayal to life with the help of a few key stars, namely Gal Gadot. The Wonder Woman lead steals the show as Linnet Ridgeway Doyle, the beautiful victim at the heart of the mystery. Brilliantly cast and effortlessly captivating, Gadot makes for the perfect muse, with fellow stars Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal and Dawn French more than helping to assist the story. However, despite the stellar cast, one major problem remains.
Embattled actor Armie Hammer still features prominently in the trailer, more than a year after allegations surfaced that accused him of subjecting women to a series of bizarre sexual fantasies. Removing him from the film altogether would be a near-impossible task, however, that hasn’t stopped critics from voicing their concerns.
“In the newly released trailer, it’s clear the studio attempted to minimize, though not completely erase, his appearance. Throughout the two-minute clip, he materializes several times but barely utters a sentence of dialogue,” Variety wrote.
While the contention surrounding Hammer’s inclusion remains somewhat of a sticky situation, Branagh’s take on the Agatha Christie thriller does appear to hit the mark. Filmed with 65mm Panavision cameras, Death on the Nile is a fantastical portrayal of one of the murder mystery queen’s greatest novels.
“More than 100 years after the publication of Agatha Christie’s first novel, her crime fiction works remain immensely popular and continue to be discovered anew by people around the world,” James Prichard, chairman and CEO of Agatha Christie Ltd., said. “I’m thrilled that Disney and our partners believe in this franchise, which has helped introduce millions of new fans to Christie’s classic works. We’re honoured to be in business with Disney, Ken, and all who are dedicated to preserving the long legacy of these titles for future generations.”
Directed by five-time Academy Award nominee Kenneth Branagh, Death on the Nile opens in Australian cinemas on February 10, 2022.