The BBC has found their Poirot. John Malkovich (Being John Malkovich, In The Line Of Fire) has been set to star as the legendary Belgian detective in BBC One’s three-part Agatha Christie adaptation The ABC Murders.
The ABC Murders is set in 1930s Britain and follows Poirot as he faces a serial killer known only as A.B.C. 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 Poirot is to match his nemesis then everything about him will be called into question; his authority, his integrity, his past, his identity.
The three-parter comes out of the deal between the BBC and Agatha Christie Limited that has seen the PSB commission adaptations of a wealth of Christie titles including Ordeal By Innocence, The Witness For The Prosecution and And Then There Were None. The pact calls for six further adaptations in the coming years. “The ABC Murders is one of my great grandmother’s most unsettling and intense stories and Hercule Poirot one of her most intriguing characters”, said Agatha Christie Limited CEO James Prichard. “I am humbled by the quality of cast we have lined up for the show and I am most excited to experience the unique approach John Malkovich will bring to the role in this thrilling one-off television adaptation”.
In addition to Malkovich, the cast includes: Rupert Grint (Harry Potter, Sick Note) as Inspector Crome, Andrew Buchan (Broadchurch, The Honourable Woman) as Franklin Clarke, Eamon Farren (Twin Peaks, Chained) as Cust, Tara Fitzgerald (Game Of Thrones, Requiem) as Lady Hermione Clarke, Bronwyn James (Harlots) as Megan and Freya Mavor (The Sense Of An Ending, Sunshine On Leith) as Thora Grey.
The ABC Murders, which was previously adapted for television as an episode of ITV’s David Suchet fronted Poirot series, is being penned by Sarah Phelps – the scribe behind The Witness For The Prosecution and Ordeal By Innocence. “Set in the seething, suspicious early 1930s, The ABC Murders is a brutal story of violence and lies, the long shadow of the past and the slaughter to come”, she said. “At its centre, one of the most familiar, famous characters in crime fiction. We may all think we know Poirot but do we really know Hercule?”
The ITV owned indie Mammoth Screen are producing alongside Agatha Christie Limited. 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. Farah Abushwesha is the producer, while The Frankenstein Chronicles helmer Alex Gabassi is attached to direct. Filming is set to get underway next month for a premiere later this year. The BBC said that further casting would be announced at a later date. Endeavour Content is handling global sales.