The much-delayed Death on the Nile is set to finally premiere on February 11, 2022 (supposedly, let’s see if anything changes over the next couple of months). A new trailer dropped yesterday to remind everyone that this movie exists, and unlike the first trailer, which was borderline camp, this one is hitting the drama button so hard someone probably broke a nail. This is a big, period epic! Lavish costumes! Exotic locales! Elaborate sets! Star-studded cast! It’s really making me think a lot about Knives Out 2, the superior murder mystery franchise. Sorry, Kenneth Branagh, let your upcoming onslaught of Belfast nominations and, maybe, awards soothe you, because while Hercule Poirot is a classic, Benoit Blanc is the eccentric detective we want and need.
What’s interesting about this trailer is how deliberately they cut around Armie Hammer. He’s there, but he barely speaks, and a few angles chosen effectively excise him from the scene. The Hollywood Reporter has an interesting breakdown of Disney’s decision to keep him in the film. Basically, the scale of the film is so big, with the ensemble cast sharing many scenes, that it would be implausible to replace him a la Christopher Plummer replacing Kevin Spacey in All the Money in the World, and too expensive to digitally alter the film to remove him. So, they’re going ahead with the Valentine’s Day weekend release with Hammer still part of the ensemble, even as he’s probably going to skate on charges of sexual assault stemming from allegations earlier this year. When we look back on Death on the Nile, will it be the last big project we see Armie Hammer in, or will it be the start of his comeback?