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death on the nile
Image via 20th Century Studios

A star-studded sequel so long coming half the cast was canceled by the time it released roots out a streaming suspect

The stars were a lot less popular by the time it finally arrived.

The pandemic was a nightmare for cinema as a whole, but in terms of nothing but sheer bad luck, few fared worse than Kenneth Branagh’s sequel Death on the Nile.

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The star and director’s opening chapter in his Agatha Christie franchise was one of 2017’s biggest sleeper hits after choo-chooing its way to $352 million at the box office, with all signs pointing to lightning striking twice after the filmmaker recruited yet another stacked ensemble for the second installment.

death on the nile
via 20th Century Studios

However, there’s a distinct chance that Death on the Nile would have fared much better had it arrived as planned in November 2019, with an alarming number of the ensemble being viewed in a vastly different light by the time the film finally hit theaters a full 27 months later in February of 2022.

Gal Gadot was forced to disable her Instagram comments after wading into the Gaza crisis in early 2021, and the less said about the infamous “Imagine” the better. Meanwhile, Armie Hammer was caught up in wide-ranging allegations that ultimately torpedoed his entire career, with Letitia Wright’s anti-vax sentiments losing her a lot of fans, and that’s without even mentioning Russell Brand being accused of and investigated for violating YouTube’s misinformation policies through a series of videos sharing his thoughts on COVID-19.

Death on the Nile was always going to earn less money given the circumstances, but it also secured significantly worse reviews than its predecessor, which admittedly hasn’t dented its popularity on-demand. Per FlixPatrol, the precursor to this September’s threequel A Haunting in Venice is back among the most-watched titles on Disney Plus and iTunes, so maybe the storm has blown over.

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Scott Campbell
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