There’s a saying that I always find particularly pertinent when it comes to casting news: you can’t account for taste. And boy, did the casting director on the upcoming BBC/Amazon adaptation of The ABC Murders make an interesting choice for the lead. Everyone’s favorite Belgian detective Hercule Poirot will be played by none other than John Malkovich.
If you’re sitting there, wondering if this is some sort of prank article, I have to tell you it is the surprising truth. The story will be adapted by TV writer Sarah Phelps, and will also star Rupert Grint, Andrew Buchan, Eamon Farren, Tara Fitzgerald, Bronwyn James, and Freya Mavor.
“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 James Prichard, executive producer and CEO of Agatha Christie Ltd, tells The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
The three-part limited series will follow the plot of the original Agatha Christie novel. Hercule Poirot works to find a killer who is choosing his victims based on the alphabetical order of a train schedule but manages to outsmart him at every turn.
“Set in the seething, suspicious early 1930s, ABC Murders is a brutal story of violence and lies, the long shadow of the past and the slaughter to come,” said Phelps. “At its center, one of the most familiar, famous characters in crime fiction. We may all think we know Poirot, but do we really know Hercule?”
It seems odd to have a new adaptation coming out so soon after the film version Murder on the Orient Express, but the BBC could be trying to cash in on name-recognition value from audiences who flocked to the theaters.
There is no set production start date, and therefore no premiere date, but it will be available to English-language audiences in various regions.