'Absolutely Fabulous' Star Jennifer Saunders Joins Armie Hammer in 'Death on the Nile'

Jennifer Saunders - Getty H - 2019
Credit: David M. Benett / Getty

'Sex Education' star Emma Mackey and Rose Leslie from 'Game of Thrones' have also been cast in Kenneth Branagh's Agatha Christie adaptation.

Brit comic Jennifer Saunders — famed for being behind hit TV show Absolutely Fabulous — has joined Armie Hammer, Gal Gadot, Letitia Wright and Annette Bening in Fox's big-screen adaptation of Agatha Christie murder mystery Death on the Nile

Now in production, with Kenneth Branagh returning to the director's chair after helming 2017's Murder on the Orient Express, the film has also added Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones, The Good Fight), Emma Mackey (Sex Education), Sophie Okonedo (Wild Rose), Russell Brand (Ballers), Ali Fazal (Victoria & Abdul) and — reuniting Saunders with her long-standing comedy collaborator — Dawn French (French & Saunders). Alongside his directing duties, Branagh will again be donning the impressive mustache of Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.

The screenplay, adapted from Christie's 1937 novel, is once again written by Michael Green, with Ridley Scott, Mark Gordon, Simon Kinberg, Kenneth Branagh and Judy Hofflund returning as producers. Matthew Jenkins and James Prichard return as executive producers.

Set aboard a glamorous river steamer, Death on the Nile is an Egyptian adventure that descends into a terrifying search for a murderer when an idyllic honeymoon is shattered by violent deaths. This sinister tale of obsessive love and its murderous consequences plays out in an epic landscape of danger and foreboding, with enough twists and turns to leave audiences unsettled and guessing until the final, shocking denouement. 

"Crimes of passion are dangerously sexy," said Branagh. "Agatha Christie has written a riveting story of emotional chaos and violent criminality, and Michael Green has once again written a screenplay to match. With a cherished group of longtime artistic collaborators and a brilliant international cast, it is truly a pleasure to join Disney, Fox and Agatha Christie, Ltd. in bringing this daring thriller to the big screen. There are significant new twists, an awe-inspiring desert landscape and a chance to celebrate big-screen entertainment in glorious 65-millimeter celluloid!" 

Released in late 2017, Murder on the Orient Express — starring Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley and Penelope Cruz — earned more than $350 million off a $55 million budget.