Synopsis: Detective Hercule Poirot investigates the murder of a young heiress aboard a cruise ship on the Nile River.
Release Date: October 23, 2020
Thoughts: Only a few years back in the late summer of 2017 I was expressing my doubts that director Kenneth Branagh (Cinderella) was going to be able to remake Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and improve upon the sterling 1974 film. Released in November of that year, it did solid business with audiences but left many critics feeling they had hopped on a slower ride than expected. I quite enjoyed the update, actually, finding Branagh’s fussy Hercule Poirot cucumber cool fun and the rest of the starry cast more than up for the devious twists and turns Christie plotted out. It was perfect winter weather viewing, the kind of film that deep armchairs and warm blankets were made for. As viewers were already aware, that film ended with Poirot being called to Egypt to investigate a “death on the Nile” and come October the promise of a sequel is finally arriving.
Itself a remake of the 1978 follow-up the blockbuster smash of Orient Express, Death on the Nile is another opportunity for Branagh to gather an impressive crew of suspects and victims that board a cruise ship headed for doom. With the sort of jaw-dropping but still believable plot machinations that only Christie truly perfected in her lifetime, some prefer the original sequel to its predecessor so I’ll be interested if Branagh can win over his original naysayers on this second round of whodunit. This downright beautiful first look certainly bodes well for it being another tantalizing mix of A-list stars (Wonder Woman 1984’s Gal Gadot, Call Me by Your Name’s Armie Hammer, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool’s Annette Bening) and up and comers (Emma Mackey of Netflix’s Sex Education, Letitia Wright from Black Panther, and Furious 7’s Ali Fazal) that come under suspicion when murder drops anchor. I’m expecting another classy affair from Branagh and company…and who knows if by the end we won’t get a tease of where Poirot might be headed next. The possibilities are endless…