Upcoming mystery-thriller film Death on the Nile marks director Kenneth Branagh's second adaptation of the classic Agatha Christie mystery. The star-studded yet controversial cast has already generated online buzz, but many fans are curious if the film is a direct sequel to 2017's Murder on the Orient Express. Or is Death on the Nile a remake of the 1978 film of the same name?
Read on for everything we know about 2022's Death on the Nile, including its release date and cast controversies.
Is 'Death on the Nile' a sequel or a remake?
In 2017, shortly after the release of Murder on the Orient Express, director and actor Kenneth Branagh expressed enthusiasm for the idea of an "Agatha Christie cinematic universe."
Branagh told Associated Press, "I think there are possibilities, aren't there? With 66 books and short stories and plays, she — and she often brings people together in her own books actually, so innately — she enjoyed that," he says. "You feel as though there is a world — just like with Dickens, there's a complete world that she's created — certain kinds of characters who live in her world — that I think has real possibilities."
The 2022 adaptation of Death on the Nile is the third time the story has been adapted for the screen, with the first being a 1978 film starring Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot. There was also a 2004 adaptation of the tale that aired as an episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot. The film sees the return of Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot and Tom Bateman as Poirot's friend Bouc.
As it turns out, Death on the Nile is both a sequel and a remake. Per Vox, a remake is defined as a new film that closely resembles the original, with room for a few modern updates. Death on the Nile is a direct follow-up or sequel to 2017's Murder on the Orient Express, as evident in the return of familiar characters played by the same actors.
When is the 'Death on the Nile' release date?
Death on the Nile has been rescheduled several times. The first time, the film was moved due to the coronavirus pandemic. The initial release date was December 2019 but shifted to October 2020. After the sexual assault allegations against Armie Hammer became public knowledge, the studio pushed Death on the Nile back again to consider re-shooting Hammer's scenes with a different actor.
Unfortunately, the company ultimately decided to move forward with the film leaving Hammer as one of the lead characters. Armie Hammer is not the only Death on the Nile cast member to generate controversy in recent weeks. Letitia Wright also stars in Death on the Nile, and her openly anti-vaccination stance during the pandemic has led to many fans requesting she exit Black Panther.
Death on the Nile is currently scheduled to be released in theaters on Feb. 11, 2022.