‘The ABC Murders’ preview: First look at John Malkovich as the BBC’s new Poirot

The first official photos of John Malkovich as Hercule Poirot have been revealed.

The ABC Murders began filming last month and will mark the first appearance of Poirot on television since actor David Suchet’s final TV movie in November 2013.

First published in January 1936, Agatha Christie’s detective novel sees Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings and Chief Inspector Japp investigate a series of killings by a mysterious murderer known only as “A.B.C.”.

Here’s a sneak peek at how Malkovich will play the famous Belgian detective in the new three-part drama:

The 64-year-old American-born movie star, best known for his roles in Of Mice & Men and In the Line of Fire, has opted for a considerably more restrained moustache than Kenneth Branagh went for in last year’s Poirot movie, Murder on the Orient Express.

The cast of The ABC Murders also includes Rupert Grint (Harry Potter) as Inspector Crome, Andrew Buchan (Garrow’s Law) as Franklin Clarke, Eamon Farren (Twin Peaks) as Cust, Tara Fitzgerald (Game of Thrones) as Lady Hermione Clarke, Bronwyn James (Harlots) as Megan, and Freya Mavor (The Sense of an Ending) as Thora Grey.

Executive producer James Prichard, who is Agatha Christie’s great grandson, 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 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.”

Writer Sarah Phelps teased: “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. 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?”

David Suchet played Poirot in 70 episodes and 13 seasons of Agatha Christie’s Poirot on ITV between 1989 and 2013.

Poirot: The Complete Cases Collection is available now on DVD.

The ABC Murders is expected to air in the UK this Christmas on BBC One and in the US at a later date.