Kenneth Branagh Says ‘Death On The Nile’ Is a “Very Dark, Very Sexy, Unsettling” Film

The Playlist, 9 June 2020
By Charles Barfield

Thanks, Jude

When a studio has a film that only cost approximately $55 million to produce and ends up earning $353 million worldwide, you better believe a sequel will be in the works quickly. It’s even more of a guarantee when you’re talking about “Murder on the Orient Express,” and the fact that Agatha Christie wrote multiple stories that feature Hercule Poirot, leading to the possibility of a new franchise. That’s exactly what happened, with 20th Century Studios hiring Kenneth Branagh to direct and star in the latest Poirot mystery, “Death on the Nile.” And in a new interview, the filmmaker told us how ‘Nile’ will differ from the previous film.

While speaking on an upcoming episode of The Fourth Wall podcast, actor-filmmaker Kenneth Branagh talked about his upcoming Agatha Christie mystery film, “Death on the Nile” and why it might be much darker than people are expecting.

“Agatha Christie really believed in what she wrote,” said Branagh. “I think it was born out of personal experience being in bruising love relationships. She says in the introduction to the paperback version that she believes it has something of life in it and it really does. I think it’s universality, the recognition for anyone who’s been dangerously in love or as Poirot says in the book, in any relationship, there’s always the one that loves too much and it can hurt terribly.”

He continued, “Love, as he says, is not safe and it’s certainly not safe in this version. Michael Green [ the screenwriter] really has deepened the connection with the character [Poirot]. Going off of Agatha Christie’s personal treatment of it, his deepening of what Poirot goes through in relation to the story and then the power and sexiness of lust and love as it runs through the story is very strong. It’s a very dark, very sexy, unsettling kind of film. It certainly delivers on the travel log as it takes you to big and exciting different places, but it’s very uncomfortable in ways people will really understand because it has to do with love, possession, lust, jealousy, big primal emotions that really get in people’s way.”

As you might have guessed, Branagh returns to direct in the film, as well as star as Poirot. And much like ‘Orient Express,’ he’s joined by an all-star cast. For the new film, Branagh has brought in actors such as as Gal Gadot, Letitia Wright, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening, Ali Fazal, Sophie Okonedo, Tom Bateman, Emma Mackey, Dawn French, Rose Leslie, Jennifer Saunders, and Russell Brand.

For now, it seems like “Death on the Nile” still has an October 9 release date. However, with studios still trying to figure out their end of the year release slate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s unclear if the film will stay on that date.

You can hear more from our interview with Branagh on the upcoming episode of The Fourth Wall, which will arrive later this week.

Additional reporting from Griffin Schiller.

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