Gal Gadot and Armie Hammer have joined the cast of 20th Century Fox’s DEATH ON THE NILE, Kenneth Branagh‘s sequel to last year’s hit whodunit MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. Branagh has been busy assembling a new A-list ensemble for his adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel, which like ORIENT EXPRESS, was previously adapted for the big screen in the ’70s with Peter Ustinov starring alongside Mia Farrow, Bette Davis, George Kennedy, Sean Connery, Angela Lansbury, Maggie Smith and Jack Warden, among others.
Branagh will return as Hercule Poirot, who is called to investigate a series of murders aboard a luxurious cruise ship that he just so happens to be on. The folks at Deadline used their Poirot-like powers of detection to learn that Gadot and Hammer will be among the suspects — and possibly the victims, if they aren’t careful! Seriously though, per IMDb, Gadot will be playing Linnet Ridgeway Doyle, the character originated by Lois Chiles in the 1978 film.
Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott and Mark Gordon are producing this iteration of DEATH ON THE NILE along with Judy Hofflund and Kevin Walsh. ORIENT EXPRESS scribe Michael Green returned to write the script, and production is slated to begin in the spring of 2019, as the film will dock in theaters on Dec. 20, 2019 — the same day that STAR WARS EPISODE IX is slated to hit theaters (and the CATS movie, too). Its predecessor grossed $352.8 million worldwide, proving to have strong legs through the holiday movie season.
Hammer recently co-starred in Boots Riley‘s SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, and he also has two thrillers on the horizon — the fact-based HOTEL MUMBAI, and an untitled Annapurna film from UNDER THE SHADOW director Babak Anvari. Gadot will soon be heard in Disney’s animated sequel RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET, and she next stars in WONDER WOMAN 1984. She’s also set to star opposite Dwayne Johnson in the international action-thriller RED NOTICE.