Expectations of the New 2020 Poirot Movie - Death on the Nile

The trailer for the new 2020 Death on the Nile film starring Kenneth Branagh in the role of our favourite detective Monsieur Hercule Poirot has just been released – but what can we deduce from these few clips about what is to come with this new film?

Well, with the opening lines, spoken over the clips of the pyramids and shots of Jackie and Simon being ‘A romance of the desert has the power to seduce’ we are sure to see a lot of the passion of Jackie and Simon and indeed of Simon and Linette. The shots of the film display scenes of extravagance and luxury highlighting the wealth of the characters and the opulence of the indulgent honeymooners. With grand scenes of balloon filled party rooms, champagne glasses and saucers everywhere not to mention the shimmering cocktail dresses we’re certainly going to be in for a treat optically. The Karnak appears to have had an upgrade since the small steams of the 1978 film starring Peter Ustinov as Poirot with speed boats ferrying the guests to the boat and clean white dust free shots of the bar and stairs.

But what of the cast and storyline? Will we see deviations from the original novel by Agatha Christie – almost certainly – but how many and how far will they go? Will the new film reach out to a new Christie audience whilst offering enough of the charm and dedication to the original to keep die hard Christie fans satisfied? Obviously, no-one can replace the establish Poirot David Suchet or the improvisation and comedy of Peter Ustinov – but will Branagh define Poirot further for himself and endear himself to fans who have grown up with Suchet as THE Poirot? Its an uphill challenge for any actor but we’ll enjoy watching Kenneth Branagh in this his second appearance as Poirot.

As for the rest of the cast, Gal Gardot will appear as Linnet Ridgeway – the three main characters of Linnet, Simon (played by Armie Hammer) and Jackie (Emma Mackey) look to be close to the original characterisation by Christie – the passionate Jackie, charming but easily lead Simon all seem as you’d expect – whether there are new dimensions added to these we’ll have to watch and see. The only other two clear characters directly taken from the novel appear to be that of Rosalie Ottorbourne and her novelist mother – played by Letitia Wright and Sophie Okonedo but as for the rest of the cast their characters are less clear.

With various actors’ roles not being fully disclosed we have to imagine there will be some deviation from the original plot and characterisation – Annette Bening is playing a characters called ‘Euphemia’ – could this be a Van Schuler role or is the comic due of Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders going to take on the double act from the original 1978 film of Bette Davis and Maggie Smith? Indeed, with French and Saunders and Russel Brand there is a suggestion that alongside the action of the film there will be comedy too. it worked well in the 78 film but will it fit seamlessly in this one? Based on the additional action scenes added to the first Branagh film Murder on the Orient Express and being produced by Ridley Scott, there will surely be elements of action added to this upcoming film – die hard Christie fans will probably have to brace themselves for the changes and upheaval from the classic world of Christie but that doesn’t mean this film can’t be enjoyed by old and new fans of Christie’s work alike.

Indeed, for myself, a Christie fan for decades, I want to keep seeing these films being produced – no they don’t give me the nostalgia of the originals but how could they? And do I really want them to? I’m not looking for a new film to compete with the original 1978 film or the ITV TV adaption with David Suchet – I’m just looking for another means to enjoy a new take on one of my favourite novels – I don’t have to love it and I do want to see it – even if it’s only once and an experience I chose not to repeat.