Amazon Prime has released an official trailer and announced the premiere date for an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders. The second of a three part series, The ABC Murders features John Malkovich as the famous mustached Hercule Poirot and Rupert Grint (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) as Inspector Crome. The series is set to release on Amazon February 1, 2019 in the US and is already available on the BBC One.
Set in 1933, A killer who goes by the moniker “ABC” travels the British railway system, leaving sets of clues along the way. In order for Poirot (Malkovich) to outwit the killer’s cunning and discover the murderer’s identity, he will have to give up the most vital pieces of himself.
The series is directed by Alex Gabassi (The Frankenstein Chronicles), written and executive produced by Sarah Phelps, and produced by Farah Abushwesha (The Party). Phelps has done three other adaptations of Agatha Christie’s work: And Then There Were None, Witness for the Prosecution and Ordeal by Innocence. Phelps described her newest adaptation as “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?”
The new series has received mixed reviews from BBC viewers. According to James Prichard, CEO of Agatha Christie Limited and executive producer of the series, “I am most excited to experience the unique approach John Malkovich will bring to the role in this thrilling one-off television adaptation.” Phelp’s dark take on the iconic role of Poirot has led to an outcry by some avid Christie fans, while others have praised her boldness. In an interview, Phelps explained her draw to The ABC Murders and Poirot’s character in an interview with BBC: “I thought if I’m going to do this then the biggest mystery in the book is not only unmasking and finding the killer but it’s with Hercule Poirot.” Phelp’s Poirot comes from her unique take on the character, which she describes as a cartoon hiding behind a mask. “Who is this man who is hidden behind the cartoon?” Phelps questioned. “Take that cartoon quality, that has come from decades and decades of being entirely habituated, and almost comforted by this familiar, rotund, irritating figure who is going to come in and be waspish and wax his moustache and have all the answers to the questions. I want to know who is hiding behind that mask and why he hides there.”
Although actors John Malkovich and Rupert Grint take the cake, other high-profile actors include: Anya Chalotra (Wanderlust), Eamon Farren (Twin Peaks), Tara Fitzgerald (Game of Thrones), and Michael Shaeffer (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story).