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The Real Reason Fans Are Outraged Over The Death On The Nile Trailer

This week, 20th Century Studios released a new trailer for "Death on the Nile," along with two new posters on their Twitter account. The upcoming feature is directed by Kenneth Branagh and is based on the 1937 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie. "Death on the Nile" is a follow-up to 2017's "Murder on the Orient Express," with Branagh also reprising his starring role as Hercule Poirot. Branagh is just one name in the star-studded cast, with the rest of the ensemble including Annette Bening, Gal Gadot, Russell Brand, Armie Hammer, Rose Leslie, Letitia Wright, and Emma Mackey.

Written by Michael Green (who also penned 2017's "Orient Express"), "Death on the Nile" follows the aftermath of a murder on the S.S. Karnak, with Detective Hercule Poirot rushing to find the killer before they murder another passenger. The newly released trailer gives moviegoers a look into the forthcoming release, showcasing the cast and teasing the murder. Branagh's Poirot narrates, "I have investigated many crimes, but this has altered the shape of my soul. I am Detective Hercule Poirot, and I will deliver your killer."

For viewers — especially fans of "Orient Express" — the trailer has a lot of exciting details packed into it, from glimpses of characters casting doubt on one another to the just-as-intense murders. However, there's one aspect of the trailer that has fans outraged.

Fans have harsh words for Armie Hammer's appearance in the trailer

Per Vox, in March, actor Armie Hammer was accused by multiple women of emotional abuse, manipulation, coercion, and, by one woman, rape (via The Hollywood Reporter). In the aftermath, Hammer was dropped by his talent agency and lost his place in a handful of in-the-works projects, including the romantic comedy "Shotgun Wedding" and the Paramount+ series about the making of "The Godfather," titled "The Offer" (via Variety). One film that opted to not recast or make any changes is the upcoming "Death on the Nile," which had already completed filming by the time the allegations came out. Now, with the trailer released, fans have some harsh words about the upcoming whodunit.

Film critic Mike McGranaghan tweeted, "Oh boy, Armie Hammer," complete with a string of vomiting emojis. Another Twitter user, @ThunderFanJay, blatantly called out the allegations against Hammer, writing, "Lol Armie Hammer ... ? Like ... the accused rapist ... Armie Hammer?"

Others, like @MoviesThatMaher, made jokes about Hammer's infrequent appearances in the trailer and placement on the new posters. Relatedly, @Aussie_Legend joked, "Starring Gal Gadot and definitely no one else. Don't ask." Additionally, several fans compared the situation to that of the recently released "West Side Story" (another 20th Century Studios film), in which the allegations against star Ansel Elgort went unacknowledged during the press tour. Twitter user @firstshowing wrote, "It looks like they decided not to edit out [Hammer] and will go with the West Side Story 'try to pretend he's not in it' marketing approach."

Replacing Hammer was considered

According to a recent update from The Hollywood Reporter, Walt Disney Studios — the parent company of 20th Century Studios — considered different options to avoid releasing a movie with Armie Hammer in a major role. Because "Death on the Nile" had finished filming long before the allegations against Hammer emerged, the possibility of replacing him was a bit more difficult than if the project was in the early stages of production.

The first option was to reshoot Hammer's scenes with a different actor, as was done with 2017's "All the Money in the World." At that time, Kevin Spacey was replaced with Christopher Plummer following multiple allegations of sexual assault against Spacey (via Vox). However, getting the ensemble cast of "Death on the Nile" together again to do reshoots with an actor recast in Hammer's role would have been too difficult, especially considering this is all occurring amid a global pandemic. The next option, THR reports, would be to "use digital technology to edit or alter the film, but that would have been equally as challenging considering the size of the cast and intricate storyline, according to an insider."

Finally, Disney could have sold the film to a streaming service to avoid a full theatrical release, complete with promotional press leading up to the release, or simply shelved it. However, that would have been "a disservice to the large cast and crew," according to a source who spoke to THR.

"Death on the Nile" (complete with Hammer's appearance) will be released on February 11, 2022.