Caution: possible spoilers ahead.
After adapting the classic ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, Kenneth Branagh decided to bet on yet another reinterpretation of the Dama do Crime’s extensive career, Agatha Christie — and shortly afterwards announced a non-direct sequel titled ‘Death on the Nile’.
For those unfamiliar, the novel was published in 1937 and garnered immediate acclaim from literary critics and the public alike – mainly for continuing the mysterious adventures starring Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. The story follows beautiful Linnet Ridgeway, who is on her honeymoon with her husband on a beautiful cruise on the Nile River. Target of crooked and envious looks, Linnet is found dead, shot in the head. It is then up to Poirot to unravel this shocking crime and discover who was responsible for taking the girl’s life.
While the film does not arrive in theaters (since it has a premiere scheduled for the February, 10th), The CinePOP decided to prepare a list of who plays who in the adaptation – including the reprise of Branagh as Hercule Poirot.
After being praised for his performance as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, Branagh is back in ‘Death on the Nile’ to investigate yet another haunting mystery. The eccentric and brilliant detective, known for his spectacular and haughty mustache, is one of the most enduring characters in Christie’s literary universe – and is known worldwide for his reputation and his cognitive abilities.
LINNET RIDGEWAY-DOYLE, Gal Gadot
Linnet Ridgeway-Doyle is the victim every now and then ‘Death on the Nile’ – and his death draws the attention of everyone aboard the cruise. Considered one of England’s richest heiresses, Linnet is shot in her sleep in her sleep. Interestingly, her murder doesn’t occur until the middle of the novel, which allows Christie to build an even greater dramatic suspense. Either way, the antagonists surrounding her are introduced right off the bat – including Jacqueline De Bellefort, Lord Windlesham and Sir George Wode.
JACQUELINE DE BELLEFORT, Emma Mackey
played by the incredible Emma Mackey, from ‘Sex Education’, Jacqueline is one of the main antagonists of the novel. At first, she was one of Linnet’s closest friends and was about to marry Simon Doyle. However, things change when Linnet offers Simon a job and eventually decides to marry him. Jacqueline is swept up in a whirlwind of emotions and, as she tells Poirot, has decided to take revenge by chasing them on their honeymoon across the Nile.
Simon Doyle (Armie Hammer) is the youngest son of a considerably wealthy family – but ultimately he doesn’t have any money that belongs to his name. After asking for Jacqueline’s hand in marriage, he decides to look for a new job so he can pay for the ceremony – and Linnet offers him a job. However, Linnet, as already said, expresses interest in Simon, who cancels the wedding and decides to ask for Linnet’s hand.
ANDREW KATCHADOURIAN, Ali Fazal
In the original novel, the character played by Ali Fazal is titled Andrew Pennington – but in the adaptation, he was given the surname Katchadourian. In the plot, Andrew is one of the last two administrators and partners in Linnet’s fortune. He works in an office in New York and is responsible for taking care of the protagonist’s money until the moment he turns 21 or gets married. When he receives a letter revealing that Linnet has married Simon, he immediately travels to Egypt and accompanies them on their honeymoon, believing the marriage could affect their business.
In Christie’s book, Ms. Otterbourne is portrayed as a ridiculously spaceless British lady – and who gets attention for wearing a turban to connect with the local culture. in the long, Sophie Okonedo seems to embody a more serious version of the character – who plays a crucial role in the story, almost revealing the name of the killer, but being shot by a bullet. She is the mother of Rosalie Otterbourne and a great admirer of Poirot’s work.
Rosalie Otterbourne (Letitia Wright) is described as a feisty girl who is also very shrewd and has a huge heart. Daughter of Salome, who constantly embarrasses her, she behaves like a “secret keeper”, preventing her mother’s alcohol addiction from going public. And, while many tragedies happen in the novel, it achieves its happy ending and slightly dilutes the dark tone of the narrative.
Jennifer Saunders e Dawn French come together to work together once again with this upcoming adaptation of Christie’s novel – and play, respectively, Ms. Marie Van Schuyler and Ms. Bowers. Marie is a spinster from the United States, characterized as a stereotypical rich old woman, who disdains most of the other passengers. Mrs. Bowers, in turn, works as Marie’s nurse and, contrary to what many believe, has no motive or connection to the central mystery, which makes her a credible witness.
Rose Leslie plays Louise Bourget in the feature film, Linnet and Simon’s maid. At first, she is configured as a supporting character – but her presence in the narrative draws readers’ attention when she becomes the murderer’s second victim. As is revealed at the time of her death, Louise is deluded by greed and dies in an attempt to commit blackmail.
Branagh decided to give a different look to another of the characters in the original book, Dr. Bessner. In the rereading for the big screen, Russell Brand embodies the titled version as Dr. Linus Windlesham, a middle-aged European doctor who boards the Egyptian cruise and cares for Simon after he has an accident. He identifies the weapon used to kill Louise and denies it was anything to do with the murder.
Bouc, character played by Tom Bateman in ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ as the owner of the locomotive, does not show his face in ‘Death on the Nile’ – but Branagh decides to bring both the character and the actor back to, possibly, tie the ends between this newborn cinematic universe. Details about his appearance in the film have yet to be revealed.
Euphemia is also not a character that appears in the original story, but, it seems, will have considerable weight in the cinematographic retelling. Interpreted by Annette Clear, Euphemia is Simon’s likely mother in the plot – and could be built to become a prime suspect in Linnet’s murder, as well as other characters.