Frank Dillane, Hayley Squires, Clémence Poésy, and Jamael Westman will join series leads Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston in the show, which is an adaptation of the Sarah Perry novel of the same name.
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The one-hour drama series follows newly widowed Cora (Danes) who, having being released from an abusive marriage, relocates from Victorian London to the small village of Aldwinter in Essex, intrigued by a local superstition that a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent has returned to the area. Hiddleston will star as Will Ransome, the trusted leader of a small rural community.
Dillane (“Fear the Walking Dead,” “The Girlfriend experience,” “Sense8”) will play Luke Garrett, a pioneering young surgeon. Some call him a genius, others a liability. He’s headstrong and ambitious, and he meets his intellectual match in Cora.
Squires (“Adult Material,” “I, Daniel Blake”) will star as Martha. More than just a servant in Cora’s household, she’s a highly intelligent and fiery young socialist, and Cora’s closest confidante.
Poésy (“Tenet,” “Genius”) will appear as Stella Ransome, friendly, sympathetic and adored by her husband Will and children. A beautiful soul inside and out, she becomes a firm friend of Cora’s when she arrives in Aldwinter.
Westman (“Anne Boleyn,” “Animals,” “Hamilton”) will play Dr George Spencer, Luke’s right hand man. An unexceptional surgeon he may be, but a kinder man you couldn’t hope to meet.
Dillane is repped by Michelle Braidman Associates ltd. in the U.K. and WME in the U.S. Squires is repped by B-Side in the U.K. and Management 360 in the U.S. Poésy is repped by United Agents. Westman is repped by Curtis Brown.
Variety exclusively reported in February that Danes was taking over the lead role in the series from Keira Knightley. “The Essex Serpent” will be directed by Clio Bernard with Anna Symon serving as head writer. Both will also executive produce along with Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Patrick Walters, Iain Canning, and Emile Sherman. Andrea Cornwell will serve as producer. See-Saw Films will produce for Apple. The series is commissioned out of the U.K. by Apple’s heads of worldwide video, Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, and creative director for Europe worldwide video, Jay Hunt.
(Pictured, from left to right: Frank Dillane, Jamael Westman, Hayley Squires, Clémence Poésy)
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