John Malkovich and Rupert Grint have signed on to star in the three-part mini-series adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel “The ABC Murders” for the BBC and Amazon.
Malkovich will become the latest actor to take on the role of Belgian detective Hercule Poirot following the likes of David Suchet’s iconic performance in the ITV series adaptation along with the most recent take by Kenneth Branagh in last year’s big-budget feature “Murder on the Orient Express”.
Considered one of the most clever mysteries written by the author, Sarah Phelps will pen the adaptation of the drama set in 1930s Britain at a time when hatred is on the rise. A serial killer is committing murders of people connected only by the alphabet – Alice Ascher from Andover, Betty Barnard in Bexhill, Sir Carmichael Clarke in Churston and so forth. At each murder, an ABC railway guide is left beside the victim.
At the same time an epileptic travelling salesman, who suffers from memory blackouts and constant headaches as the result of a head injury during the war, fears he may be guilty. Tony Randall starred in a 1965 film adaptation, while the Suchet-led telemovie adaptation in 1992 is cited as the actor’s favorite episode.
Grint has signed on to play Inspector Crome (likely the series’ version of Inspector Japp). Andrew Buchan (“Broadchurch”), Eamon Farren (“Twin Peaks”), Tara Fitzgerald (“Game of Thrones”), Bronwyn James (“Harlots”), and Freya Mavor (“The Sense of an Ending”) co-star. Shooting gets underway in June.
The series follows in the wake of several recent mini-series adaptations of Christie works in recent years, most notably “And Then There Were None,” though none of those featured either Poirot or Christie’s other iconic sleuth Mrs. Marple.