Latest ‘Death On The Nile’ Delay Reportedly So Disney Can Figure Out Their Armie Hammer Problem

Only a week ago Disney was further delaying Kenneth Branagh’s Death On the Nile, as part of a slew of release date shuffles. While it would be easy to cast it as another COVID-19 related decision, it actually turns out to be quite a bit more. And that has to do with cast member Armie Hammer, who has become…well, a bit of a problem for any movie he’s in.

As you probably well know, Hammer is facing numerous scandals right now, some ridiculous, like the whole cannibalism thing, and some VERY serious, like accusations of rape and being investigated by the LAPD. During this process, he’s lost his agent, dropped  out of rom-com Shotgun Wedding and The Godfather movie he was going to a part of, and now people are wondering if Disney will find a way to remove him from the already-completed Death On the Nile.

Variety reports this latest delay on the film was so Disney could figure out what to do about the Armie Hammer problem. One thing they aren’t willing to do is recast his role and reshoot his scenes, similar to what Ridley Scott did on All the Money in the World by replacing another alleged sexual assaulter, Kevin Spacey, with Christopher Plummer.

A rival studio exec suggests Disney just be real about the whole thing and release the movie, saying “Hundreds of people worked on this project, and we’re not scrapping it because of one individual.”

Here’s the thing, though: we have evidence of the kind of impact Hammer’s presence now can have on a movie. The recent opioid thriller Crisis has a star-studded cast and was getting positive reviews until Hammer became persona non grata. Suddenly, the reviews began to focus primarily on him, and things turned negative. You think Disney didn’t notice?

My best guess is that Disney will just release the movie in its current 2022 date and hope the situation has relaxed by then. Hammer has denied all of the accusations against him, but really, his career is toast unless he’s definitively proven to be innocent. He’ll be seen at some point in a tiny role in Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins, but after that, who knows? That Call Me By Your Name sequel is probably dead and buried now, though.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.