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Was Death On The Nile Actually Filmed On The Nile?

Beginning in 2017 with the release of "Murder on the Orient Express," actor and director Kenneth Branagh has been at the helm of three separate mystery films based on the work of the legendary Agatha Christie — each time starring as the eccentric detective Hercule Poirot. These adaptations include the upcoming "A Haunting in Venice" (adapted from Christie's novel "Hallowe'en Party" and set for release in September 2023), and 2022's "Death on the Nile."

As the name suggests, the latter takes place on a luxury cruise down the Nile River, which falls into disaster when an heiress named Linnet Ridgeway-Doyle (Gal Gadot) is murdered in cold blood. As in "Murder on the Orient Express," the unexplained murder becomes a mystery that only Poirot can solve, and one in which every member of the immense ensemble cast is a suspect. Although the majority of the film takes place on the Nile, mystery fans will be somewhat disappointed to know that Branagh's version of "Death on the Nile" didn't actually film its scenes on the titular river.

According to a report from Times Travel, much of 2022's "Death on the Nile" was shot in Longcross Studios in Surrey, England, where the filmmakers constructed life-sized replicas of famous Egyptian buildings and sights. The luxury cruiser SS Karnak was also built and shot in Longcross Studios, and wildlife shots from along the Nile were filmed at the United Kingdom's Cotswold Water Park.

The 1978 version of Death on the Nile was shot on location

Though some of the film's background footage was actually shot in Egypt and Morocco, it's clear that the vast majority of "Death on the Nile" was shot in England rather than on location. This production style is in stark contrast to the 1978 adaptation of the same name, which starred Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot and was directed by John Guillermin.

1978's "Death on the Nile" shot the majority of its footage on location in Egypt, and, perhaps more impressively, on an actual boat floating down the Nile River. "It was an extraordinarily rare opportunity to shoot in a unique and very special environment," recalled the legendary Angela Lansbury in an interview with StudioCanalUK. "We would get up at four or maybe three in the morning, because of the heat at that time in Egypt... so we were dealing with that and also with an old riverboat that we were working on."

Lansbury said that the boat they filmed on would sometimes travel under the power of an old steam engine, but for the most part, it was pulled through the water by smaller, quieter boats because its primary engine was too loud for filming. While it might be somewhat disappointing to learn that 2022's "Death on the Nile" was mostly filmed on an English soundstage, fans of Agatha Christie's novel can take solace in the fact that the 1978 film adaptation was actually filmed on the world-famous Nile River.