Unpacking 'Death On The Nile's Endless Cast Problems
Acclaimed actor-director Kenneth Branagh’s Hercule Poirot is back! Apparently, audiences weren’t put off by how his take on the character resembles a botched attempt to clone Sam Elliott, because 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express was a surprise box office hit. Now there’s a follow-up; Death on the Nile, based on the classic Agatha Christie novel about a cruise that goes awry horribly like … well, like pretty much every cruise ever, to be honest.
Famously, several of the cast members of this movie have become embroiled in real-life scandals between the time of the original scheduled release and now. Like Armie Hammer, who was accused of a laundry list of atrocious acts, allegations of which were eventually turned into a “series of NFTs” because we clearly live in hell. Also, Letitia Wright posted anti-vaxxer videos on social media, Russell Brand makes anti-vaxxer videos, and Gal Gadot united the entire world … in their seething hatred for that “Imagine” video. The only one missing is Kevin Spacey doing his skin-crawling Christmas Eve video schtick.
The film hasn’t been getting amazing reviews – which is unfortunate for Branagh because he was just nominated for a bunch of Oscars. His acclaimed autobiographical new film, Belfast is up for several Academy Awards, and Branagh is personally nominated in the Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay categories.
So it may not be the best time for him to be gracing movie screens wearing a goofy Old West-style porno stache alongside a cast that somehow doesn’t include that guy who gave himself the Jeopardy hosting job. And it’s not like this kind of thing can’t have an impact on his Oscar chances – remember how Eddie Murphy was the frontrunner for Best Supporting Actor in 2007 until he made a little movie/waking nightmare called Norbit?
Had it not been for Disney’s acquisition of Fox, there’s a good chance Death on the Nile would have been released in December 2019 in order to compete with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – back when the cast was generally considered not-horrible, and when any movie would seem like a work of unadulterated genius compared to a certain juggernaut of computer-generated feline cringe that came out that same week.
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Top Image: 20th Century Studios