Lawyers acting for the late Professor Brian Thrupiece are currently deciding whether to lodge a complaint and a potential suit for damages after it was revealed that a Hollywood Studio had - in their view - infringed the image rights of the late Professor by digitally imposing his face on the actor Kenneth Barlow in the upcoming remake of the Agatha Christie classic Murder on the Orient Express.
Mr Joshua Threadbone-McNightly of Threadbone, Threadbone and Threadbone (Solicitors) said in a statement read out in Bettiscombe High Court today that, the character of Hercule Poirot in the new film sported exaggerated moustaches and other facial hair modelled not on that of the real Hercule Poirot (the nom d'acteur of the famous Belgian actor David de Suchet) but on one of the late Professor's unauthenticated portraits recently featured in several magazines.
"The resemblance is so strong", Mr Threadbone-McNightly said "that it cannot be a matter of coincidence and any web of Hollywood-inspired invention designed to assert that it is will be exposed for the web of Hollywood invention that it is... further, the fact that in the course of the film Mr Barlow is seen on several occasions to employ a number of small electrical appliances for the purposes of grooming his facial hair in what can only be described as an obsessive manner is evidence that more than the Professor's image has been stolen. His entire character has been appropriated and grafted on the persona of the partially-talented but otherwise characterless former Coronation Street actor."
The film's producer, Hollywood legend Tubby Kale, confirmed that the world premiere of the film at Chaldon Herring's Odeon EXLAX Cinema Complex will go ahead. "It takes more than a fully justified law suit to close us down", he said, "Jeez that Brian guy's a genuine icon - we had to use him. How else would we justify remaking a story that's already been told so many times that every dame in the land knows who did it. We've got to give them something to bite on - and a bit of clever eye candy usually does the trick."
ABOVE: Mr Barlow in real life. BELOW: Lawyers for the late Professor Thrupiece insist the image of Kenneth Barlow (as Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot) is too similar to that of the late Professor not to be an attempt at impersonation. They insist that Professor Thrupiece never was and never claimed to be a Belgian sleuth though he was a frequent passenger on the Orient Express and may have been Ms Christie's original inspiration.