John Malkovich has said that Hercule Poirot and Agatha Christie fans “may just hate” his take on the Belgian detective.

The Oscar-nominated actor is set to star in a BBC adaptation of The ABC Murders by the beloved and prolific crime writer.

Malkovich will bring a different look and mannerisms to the distinctive detective, losing the waxed moustache and the Belgian accent in favour of a goatee beard and English diction.

The actor admits that some purists may hate the re-imagining of the character, in an adaptation by Sarah Phelps, who has previously worked on The Witness For The Prosecution.

Literature – Agatha ChristieCrime writer Agatha Christie (PA)

Speaking to Radio Times magazine, Malkovich said: “There was a certain amount of convincing the Agatha Christie estate about this version, and I was involved in some of those conversations.

“There was never anything unpleasant or difficult.

“But obviously this is a very known and loved character, and there may have been some worries that we weren’t, as it were, saluting that.

“Poirot and Christie fans may just hate all this, I have no idea.”

Malkovich says he was told by director Alex Gabassi that he wanted the new-look character to match the style of Malkovich that he saw from a photo shoot, complete with bald head and beard.

The actor said: “I said ‘sure, that’s the way I normally look, if that’s what you want, then fine’.”

The full interview is available in Radio Times magazine out today.