First look at John Malkovich as Hercule Poirot for the BBC's new drama

Hanna Flint
John Malkovich is playing Poirot in the BBC’s new drama

It was only last year that Kenneth Branagh took to the screen as Hercule Poirot but there’s already a new mustachioed sleuth for viewers to contend with.

John Malkovich plays Poirot in a new BBC series and the broadcaster has revealed a first look image of the actor in character.

Malkovich’s Poirot has his own defining facial hair, going for a goatee as he brings the detective to life in the BBC’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders.

The series has been written by Sarah Phelps, the screenwriter behind BBC One’s last three Christie adaptations – And Then There Were None,  The Witness for the Prosecution and this year’s Ordeal by Innocence.

John Malkovich plays Poirot in The ABC Murders

The latter series was meant to be aired at Christmas, like the previous adaptations, but due to sexual assault allegations against its star Ed Westwick it was pushed back in order for Christian Cooke to replace him.

The ABC Murders will air at Christmas this year and boasts a cast that includes Rupert Grint, Tara Fitzgerald, Andrew Buchan, Shirley Henderson, Kevin McNally, Gregor Fisher and Jack Farthing.

Here’s the official synopsis:

This time the setting is the 1930s; a time when the nation is dangerously divided and suspicion and hatred are on the rise. In the midst of this 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 Poirot is to match his nemesis then everything about him will be called into question; his authority, his integrity, his past, his identity.

“The 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 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 ABC Murders hits BBC One in December

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