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The upcoming Death on the Nile film has had a rough road to making it to the big screen. Following multiple delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic the film then became the subject of major backlash after the troubling reports about Armie Hammer began to make the rounds and co-star Letitia Wright came under fire for tweets against vaccines. It’s been an uphill battle to say the least, and it just got a little bit tougher in a few markets as the film has been banned in two countries. According to a new report from Deadline, Death on the Nile has been banned in both Lebanon and Kuwait.
According to the trade, the ban isn’t the result of lurid content that censors have objected to but the fact that actress and Israeli native Gal Gadot is among the leads. Gadot’s service in the Israeli military is what has caused the ban of the film, with both Lebanon and Kuwait actively protesting Israel. Lebanon previously banned the Wonder Woman movies starring Gadot for the same reasons. On the flipside, Death on the Nile has earned a rare confirmed release date in China.
A follow-up to 2017’s hit mystery film Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile is directed by and stars Kenneth Branagh once again, appearing as Agatha Christie’s detective character Hercule Poirot. The 2017 film grossed over $350 million worldwide and kicked off hopes for a new franchise, one that The Walt Disney Company inherited after acquiring 20th Century Fox.
It’s unclear if Death on the Nile will make way for a third film or if this series will end before it can really begin, but the film has already managed to match the critical reaction to its predecessor with a 60% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. ComicBook.com’s own Charlie Ridgely awarded the film a 3.5 out of 5, writing in part:
“Branagh is as delightful as ever with his take on the quirky Hercule Poirot, giving himself a lot more to do this time around. But Poirot is the one person who you can take at face value (though never underestimate). This cast excels at bringing to life characters who are as secretive and potentially sleazy as they are endearing and relatable. Emma Mackey is a show-stopper as the abandoned lover Jacqueline. It takes a lot of talent to slide into a role originated by Mia Farrow, and Mackey has it in spades. Annette Benning and Sophie Okonedo also shine through as standouts in a cast that doesn’t have a weak spot.”
Death on the Nile arrives in theaters on February 11th.