John Malkovich is Hercule Poirot in 'ABC Murders' First-Look for Amazon/BBC

John Malkovich in 'The ABC Murders'

The actor plays the famed Belgian detective in the latest major Agatha Christie adaptation.

John Malkovich’s upcoming portrayal of Hercule Poirot appears to be a little less wild on the facial hair front than recent depictions of the famed literary detective.

In the first-look from The ABC Murders, released Thursday, the actor’s moustache boasts considerably less hirsuteness and flair than seen on Kenneth Branagh in last year’s Murder on the Orient Express.

Malkovich plays the lead in the three-part adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic for the BBC and Amazon, starring alongside Rupert Grint (Harry Potter), Andrew Buchan (Broadchurch, The Honourable Woman), Eamon Farren (Twin Peaks, Chained), Tara Fitzgerald (Game of Thrones) and Bronwyn James (Harlots) and Freya Mavor (The Sense of an Ending). Alongside the first-look, additional castings were also announced, including Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter, Happy Valley), Kevin McNally (Pirates Of The Caribbean, Legend), Gregor Fisher (Love Actually) and Poldark’s Jack Farthing (The Riot Club).

BAFTA-nominated writer Sarah Phelps, who also adapted Witness for the Prosection and And Then There Were None, returns to explore the 20th century through Christie’s work. This time the setting is the 1930s; a time when the nation is dangerously divided, with suspicion and hatred on the rise. In the midst of this tension, Poirot faces a serial killer known only as "A.B.C." First the killer strikes in Andover, then Bexhill. As the murder count rises, the only clue is the copy of the ABC Railway Guide at each crime scene. Poirot’s investigations are thwarted at every turn by an enemy determined to outsmart him. If the detective is to match his nemesis, then everything about him will be called into question: his authority, integrity, past and identity.

"I’m honored to have been asked to play Hercule Poirot. It’s a role that’s been played by a number of excellent actors, and I am enjoying the numerous challenges this part presents," said Malkovich. "I have great respect for Sarah Phelps’ screenplay and hope to do both she and Agatha Christie’s creation some measure of justice."

Filming for The ABC Murders is underway and is directed by Alex Gabassi (The Frankenstein Chronicles, El Hipnotizador) and produced by Bafta nominated Farah Abushwesha (Irreplaceable You, The Party).

The ABC Murders is a Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited production for BBC One. The executive producers are Sarah Phelps, Damien Timmer and Helen Ziegler for Mammoth Screen, James Prichard and Basi Akpabio for Agatha Christie Limited and Elizabeth Kilgarriff for BBC. Amazon Prime Video will be airing the series in the U.S.

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