Claire DanesSource: John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx

What you need to know

  • Claire Danes has signed on to star in 'The Essex Serpent.'
  • Danes replaces Kiera Knightley, who left the project back in October 2020.

As reported by Variety, Claire Danes has signed on to star in the upcoming Apple TV+ drama series 'The Essex Serpent.' Danes has replaced Keira Knightley, who was initially anticipated to take on the lead role but left the project back in October of 2020. The reporting at the time speculated that Knightley left over COVID-19 concerns.

Danes takes over the role from Keira Knightley, whose exit from the project was reported back in October. The series is based on the book of the same name by Sarah Perry. It 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.

Danes is a major get for the project, as the actress has already won four Golden Globes and three Emmys.

Danes is one of the most celebrated actresses working today. She is a four-time Golden Globe winner and a three-time Emmy winner. Her Golden Globe wins were for "My So-Called Life," "Homeland" twice, and for the HBO film "Temple Grandin." Two of her Emmy wins were also for "Homeland," while the third was for "Temple Grandin." She is also an accomplished film actress, having starred in projects like "Romeo + Juliet" opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and "The Hours" with Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and Julianne Moore.

It is currently unclear when production on the series will begin or when it will debut on Apple TV+.

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