Death on the Nile Still Moving Forward Despite Armie Hammer’s Presence
Someone call Christopher Plummer.
Trailers for Kenneth Branagh’s upcoming mystery-thriller Death on the Nile have come out and the remaining presence of Armie Hammer in the film has been a jarring one.
Based on Agatha Christie’s classic novel, the movie will tell the story of Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (played by Branagh) who is engulfed in a murder mystery when a passenger is killed on the S.S. Karnak. Armie Hammer plays Simon Doyle, opposite Gal Gadot as Linnet Ridgeway-Doyle.
It has not even been a full year since multiple women accused Hammer of emotional abuse, manipulation, and rape. The allegations, which were turned into gross memes by people focusing on the wrong thing, led to the actor being dropped by his agents and withdrawing from multiple projects. Hammer has denied the allegations.
Death on the Nile was already completed before the allegations came out, but was delayed due to COVID-19. The sexual assault accusations only put it deeper into the vault until now.
The Hollywood Reporter shares that, for Disney, reshooting the film with another person would not have been possible with having to reassemble the entire cast, considering COVID. One of the actors is Letitia Wright, who is already doing a big picture for the Black Panther sequel, and Gal Gadot just had her third daughter this year. The other option would be to do it digitally, but THR says an insider stated: “that that would have been equally as challenging, considering the size of the cast and intricate storyline.”
So Armie Hammer will remain at the forefront of this film, and rather than quietly dropping on Disney+, it will still get a theatrical release—something that seems more like a punishment than a profitable solution.
This series of films was inherited by Disney in their acquisition of Fox, and their handling of these projects has been messy in general, but it is really frustrating to know that even as Hammer is being investigated, his face will be slapped in the media promotion for this film. Chris Noth has been dropped from shows and ads like nothing after recent allegations against him, and he is a much bigger star than Hammer, for similar sexual assault allegations.
While it would be disappointing for some involved to not get a big rollout for this film, releasing it on Disney+ would just be a smarter call if they have to release it at all. The previous installment, 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express, ended up grossing nearly $353 million at the worldwide box office. But that was 2017 and pre-pandemic.
Still, the film will be coming out in Feb 2022 just in time for … Valentine’s Day.
(via THR, image: 20th Century/Disney)
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