Through absolutely no fault of its own, mystery sequel Death on the Nile has been hit by a series of setbacks and issues caused by a combination of the Coronavirus pandemic and the presence of Armie Hammer as part of the star-studded ensemble cast.
Kenneth Branagh directs and shares top billing with his moustache in the Agatha Christie adaptation, which originally wrapped shooting in December 2019. The old school thriller was initially set to hit theaters in October of last year, but was pushed back to December and then September 2021, but we won’t be seeing Death on the Nile until February 2022 after the studio reshuffled its calendar.
During that time, tales of Hammer’s purported cannibalistic tendencies exploded all over the internet, which were followed by a series of other allegations surrounding his behavior and conduct. He’s essentially persona non grata in Hollywood right now, but recent reports indicated that he won’t be cut from the movie or recast in the vein of Kevin Spacey being replaced by Christopher Plummer for All the Money in the World.
Co-star Gal Gadot recently addressed the Hammer situation in an interview, and while she was about as non-committal as you’d expect, she admitted that it’s a complicated situation for both the studio and the film itself.
“It’s very complex. If the truth is that he did things, that didn’t matter then a person has to pay the price for his actions and take responsibility. I don’t know what will happen.”
Murder on the Orient Express surprised a lot of people when it earned over $350 million at the box office back in 2017, so there’s definitely an audience in place interested to see more from Hercule Poirot. And as well as Branagh, Gadot and Hammer, Death on the Nile also features Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Letitia Wright, Rose Leslie, Jennifer Saunders and more, several of whom are no strangers to controversy themselves.