Last years Murder on the Orient Express was notable for a number of reasons — namely director/star Kenneth Branagh‘s showstopping mustache and the rest of the all-star cast. With an ensemble featuring the likes of Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, and Daisy Ridley, the primary players (minus Johnny Depp) were the absolute highlight of the hit mystery movie.
Murder on the Orient Express was a huge success at the box office, making a solid $352.8 million worldwide and earning a sequel in the process. And as the ending of that movie made clear, the next case for Detective Hercule Poirot (Branagh) would be Death on the Nile, which will be based on another Agatha Christie novel, previously adapted for a 1978 film of the same name.
With the new version’s December 2019 release date approaching, we now have word on the first piece of casting. Deadline reports that Gal Gadot has been cast in Death on the Nile, joining Branagh and what we expect will be another terrific lineup. The Wonder Woman star will play Linnet Ridgeway Doyle, a character described as “a rich heiress.” The role was played by Lois Chiles in the 1978 version and sounds like a perfect fit for Gadot.
The actress was most recently seen playing an Amazon warrior in both Wonder Woman and Justice League, a part to which she brought a great deal of charm and warmth. Especially in the former, where Gadot did a terrific job bringing out every side of Diana’s character. From determined fighter to comedic fish-out-of-water to empathetic friend and leader, she shines in every aspect.
And while she may have had less to work with amidst all the world ending consequences in Justice League, Gadot still made the most of her more standard action hero role. Even managing to make something out of an underdeveloped mentor relationship with Ray Fisher’s Cyborg. And of course, her tough badass-ness should come as no surprise, with her recurring role in the Fast & Furious being proof of that long ago.
Gadot has since taken on a variety of roles, ranging from spy comedies (Keeping Up with the Joneses) to a series based on the life of the iconic Hedy Lamarr. And just recently we learned that she’s part of the voice cast of the upcoming Ralph Breaks the Internet, playing hardened racing driver Shank. It’s been fun to see Gadot branch out from doing mostly action movies, as I do believe she has plenty more to offer. As Ralph Breaks the Internet director Phil Johnston recently said of her:
“There’s so much texture to her voice and so much living in her voice.”
Which is difficult to disagree with.
All of this has me excited to see her in Death on the Nile. Murder on the Orient Express has its moments but is ultimately fairly lackluster, with the adaptation mostly being carried along by the strength of its cast. However, this is the type of mid-budget studio movie I’d like to see more of, and with an all-new case to solve we could be in for a winner.
Death on the Nile involves a boat trip on the titular African river gone wrong, during which many of Poirot’s initial suspects are killed off. A similarly confined location to Murder on the Orient Express, combined with a greater sense of urgency could be exactly what this potential franchise needs. And with this first glimpse of the film’s cast upon us, it’s time to start growing out that mustache in anticipation.