Murder on the Orient Express was a solid hit last year, and that has greenlit a sequel that is building an equally star-studded cast. Previously Gal Gadot was announced to be joining Kenneth Branaugh in Death on the Nile, which will follow the adventures of literary detective Hercule Poirot, and now Armie Hammer has been the next major star to join the cast.
The newest version of Murder on the Orient Express ended with a tease of Death on the Nile, another of Agatha Christie’s most famous mystery novels which star Hercule Poirot. Kenneth Branaugh brought the character to life in the previous film and will be returning to star in as well as direct the new feature. Orient Express included a huge cast including everybody from Johnny Depp to Josh Gad to Judi Dench and it seems like Death on the Nile will be looking to do something similar, filling out the list of suspects with big names.
Death on the Nile is currently set to release in December of 2019 but according to Variety production isn’t expected to begin until the middle of the same year. This makes it unlikely the movie will actually meet its release date, probably pushing it to December 2020 if it wants to release at the same time of year. Murder on the Orient Express was a November release and it brought in over $350 million so you can expect the studio will do everything it can to recreate those circumstances with the sequel.
Death on the Nile was previously given a film adaptation in 1978 with Peter Ustinov in the lead, four years after Albert Finney had played the detective role in a film version of Murder on the Orient Express. The original novel was published in 1937.
While most of the time when we think of major film franchises they are limited to major blockbusters, but it’s possible we could be seeing a new film franchise being born here that won’t require massive special effects or costumed heroes. Agatha Christie wrote over two dozen novels that starred Hercule Poirot, and so the possibility that we could see several of them turned into films certainly has to be considered under the circumstances. If Death on the Nile succeeds as well as Murder on the Orient Express did, we could very well see more movies where these came from.
I loved the classic “who done it?” mystery of Orient Express that we simply don’t see much anymore. Hopefully, this means we’re starting to see a resurgence in the genre as a whole. Some new original mysteries would be a welcome addition to all the potential remakes.