A number of Poirot fans were left disappointed, when it was recently revealed that John Malkovich’s version of the sleuth would not be heavily mustachioed.
And the 64-year-old actor was spotted pressing on with shooting for the first time last week, as he stepped out in period costume for his anticipated rendition of the beloved Agatha Christie character in a BBC adaptation named The ABC Murders.
Donning a grey ensemble that included a long coat and a loose-fitting suit, the Hollywood screen star employed the aid of a walking stick as he strolled before cameras as the detective in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
Getting into character: John Malkovich was spotted shooting scenes as Hercules Poirot for upcoming BBC series The ABC Murders in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, last week
With a grey bowler hat perched atop his bald head, Illinois-born John appeared to be at ease as he strolled a sprawling lawn alongside a host of extras.
However, all eyes were on his facial hair, which consisted of a silver beard and light moustache – which was notably less prominent than those of predecessors David Suchet and Kenneth Branagh.
One unhappy Poirot watcher wrote on Twitter: ‘I feel certain the first rule of anything Poirot is “Mustache.” ‘I see no mustache other than the one connected to an awful goatee styles without mustache.’
Stepping out: Donning a grey ensemble that included a long coat and a loose-fitting suit, the Hollywood screen star employed the aid of a walking stick as he strolled before cameras
Hair today, gone tomorrow…: The American actor’s version of Poirot differs greatly from the heavily mustachioed look sported by such predecessors as David Suchet, left
Rest: Wearing a bowler hat, the screen star stood beneath a tree in between shooting scenes
Another impassioned Agatha Christie fan quoted Poirot himself: ‘”Shall I say that he interested me because he was trying to grow a mustache and as yet the result is poor.” Poirot stroked his own magnificent mustache tenderly.
‘”It is an art,” he murmured, “the growing of the mustache!” I fear Malkovich hasn’t heeded this advice!’
However, one said it could just take some adapting to: ‘Not sure how I feel about the lack of the mustache, that’s gonna take some getting used to…but then again, Suchet is my first and dearest Poirot so you could say I’m biased lol.’
Milk Publicity, who run communications for the latest production, declined to comment.
At ease: Illinois-born John appeared to be at ease as he strolled a lawn alongside extras
Hats off: At points during filming, the star removed his hat, revealing his clean-shaven head
Shoot: Filming on the new series kicked off last month and will be divided into three chapters
Production on the series, which also features Rupert Grint playing Inspector Chrome, commenced in June and will be divided into three separate chapters.
The storyline is set in 1930s England, pitting Poirot against A.B.C., a serial killer who leaves an edition of The ABC Railway Guide at the scene with his victims in Andover, Bexhill and Churston.
Sarah Phelps, who wrote the upcoming show, said in a statement: ‘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?’
Serious: The actor looked stern as he stayed in character throughout filming the scenes
Action: A camera crew followed keenly as John walked with the extras, also in period dress
In good company: The anticipated series also features Rupert Grint playing Inspector Chrome
Other notable performers in the cast include Andrew Buchan playing Franklin Clarke, Eamon Farren as Cust, Tara Fitzgerald playing Lady Hermione Clarke, Bronwyn James as Megan and Freya Mavor playing Thora Grey.
Executive producer James Prichard said in a statement, ‘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.’
Poirot is a role that has drawn out the creme de la creme of the craft, as past actors to portray the iconic investigator.
Picture: Last week, the first publicity picture of John in character was unveiled to the public
Disappointed: Poirot fans were left disappointed as the latest actor to take the role of the Belgian detective failed to don a decent moustache
Stars to have previously scooped the role include Kenneth Branagh (in the movies Murder on the Orient Express and the forthcoming Death on the Nile), Alfred Molina (the 2001 TV movie Murder on the Orient Express), David Suchet (on the ITV series Agatha Christie’s Poirot) and the late Tony Randall (in 1965’s The Alphabet Murders).
When he hung up his Poirot moustache, Suchet lamented the end of his lengthy career playing the detective.
He said in 2013: ‘Poirot has been my best friend, part of my family, part of my life.
I’ve lived with this man. He’s allowed me the career I don’t think I would have had without him. He’s given me stability in a profession that is insecure.
Asked if he felt sad on the last day of filming whether he felt sad, he stated: ‘I don’t think you can ask anybody who’s reached the summit of Everest whether they’re sad.’
Stars: Murder mystery fans were unimpressed with Malkovich’s moustache, which was notably less prominent than those of predecessors David Suchet and Kenneth Branagh (pictured)
Classic character: John Moffat wore a similar moustache to that of David Suchet when he played Poirot in the 1950s to 1980s
Sleuth: Alfred Molina played the sleuth in the 2001 TV movie Murder on the Orient Express
Lengthy career: When he hung up his Poirot moustache, Suchet lamented the end of his lengthy career playing the detective