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John Malkovich to play Hercule Poirot in The ABC Murders for the BBC

John Malkovich

Story by Jack Foley

JOHN Malkovich is to play legendary detective Hercule Poirot in a new BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders.

The American actor will line up alongside former Harry Potter star Rupert Grint, who will play Inspector Crome.

Andrew Buchan (Broadchurch), Eamon Farren (Twin Peaks), Tara Fitzgerald (Game of Thrones), Bronwyn James (Harlots) and Freya Mavor (The Sense of an Ending) are also among the star-studded ensemble cast.

Based on the classic 1936 Christie novel, the series will consist of three parts.

It will follow similar BBC adaptations of Christie’s work such as And Then There Were None, Witness For The Prosecution and, most recently, Ordeal by Innocence, all of which have been greeted with widespread critical acclaim. Six more novels are also planned for adaptation by the Beeb.

James Prichard, series executive producer and CEO of Agatha Christie Limited, commented: “The ABC Murders is one of my great-grandmother’s most unsettling and intense stories and Hercule Poirot one of her most intriguing characters.

“I am most excited to experience the unique approach John Malkovich will bring to the role in this thrilling one-off television adaptation.”

BAFTA-nominated writer Sarah Phelps will pen the 1930s-set drama, which is set during a time when Britain is divided, and suspicion and hatred are on the rise.

The story will find Poirot on the trail of a serial killer known only as A.B.C.

First the killer strikes in Andover, then Bexhill, then Churston. As the murder count rises, the only clue is the copy of The ABC Railway Guide at each crime scene.

Phelps commented: “The ABC Murders is a brutal story of violence and lies, the long shadow of the past and the slaughter to come. At its centre [is] one of the most familiar, famous characters in crime fiction. We may all think we know Poirot, but do we really know Hercule?”

The novel has previously been turned into a film, The Alphabet Murders, starring Tony Randall in 1965.

Poirot is no stranger to adaptations. ITV, for example, found a big ratings success when it cast David Suchet as the fastidious Belgian detective for a number of series, while Kenneth Branagh most recently played the sleuth in the 2017 film adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express – and is reprising the role in a remake of Death on the Nile.

Malkovich can currently be seen in acclaimed US series Billions, which is airing in the UK on Sky Atlantic.