Q: Why isn't anyone doing more Nero Wolfe movies? Agatha Christie's Poirot keeps getting redone, but I thought Wolfe was every bit as good.

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

It would appear that Nero Wolfe is forever doomed to come up just short against Hercule Poirot; there have been multiple Nero Wolfe films and TV shows, but Poirot got (many) more. And it seems that he'll continue to do so.

There are no new Wolfe productions planned, and there hasn't been one since 2012. Meanwhile, Poirot films and TV shows keep getting made -- a lavish new big-screen production of Agatha Christie's "Death on the Nile" is slated for release next year.

In fact, there hasn't been an English-language Wolfe production since the end of the definitive A&E series in 2002. (The 2012 TV series was Italian, and there was a series of Russian telefilms in the late 2000s as well.)

Poirot's advantage over Wolfe is borne out in literary-critical circles as well. For example, in 2000, Bouchercon, the well-respected convention of mystery fans and creators, nominated Wolfe for its Series of the Century award, and his author, Rex Stout, for Writer of the Century. In the end, however, the awards went instead to Poirot and his creator, Christie.

This runner-up status aside, Wolfe, the heavy-set, reclusive New York detective, is rightly regarded as a giant (pardon the pun) in the mystery genre. Stout wrote him into dozens of novels and short stories from the 1930s through to the '80s. 

Even here Wolfe loses out to Poirot, though just barely: Stout wrote 33 Wolfe novels and 41 short stories and novellas. Christie, meanwhile, put her fussy Belgian sleuth into 33 novels and 51 short stories (plus a play).


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