Apple TV+ logoSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple TV+ has landed "The Essex Serpent."
  • The period piece will star Kiera Knightley.
  • It follows the story of a widow who searches for a mythical creature.

Kiera Knightley will be making her debut on Apple TV+ with a new period piece.

Reported by Deadline, the streaming service has landed "The Essex Serpent," a new period drama that will star Kiera Knightley. The film will adapt Sarah Perry's novel and follow the story of Cora, a widow who becomes caught up with the story of a mythical creature in a small village.

The Essex Serpent follows newly widowed Cora, played by Knightley, 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.

Knightley will also executive produce the film which is backed by See-Saw Films, the production company behind "The King's Speech."

Set in 1893, the book was published by Serpent's Tail, an imprint of Profile Books in 2016 and was named Book of the Year by the British Book Awards that year. Knightley, Barnard and Symon will exec produce alongside Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Patrick Walters, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman. Andrea Cornwell will serve as producer. The streamer has ordered the project to series from See-Saw Films, the company behind The King's Speech and Top of the Lake. It will be directed by Dark River and The Selfish Giant director Clio Barnard and is written by Mrs Wilson writer Anna Symon.

"The Essex Serpent" follows "Slow Horses" and and "Suspicion," two other films coming out the UK that will star Gary Oldman and Uma Thurman.

The drama was commissioned by Apple out of the UK by Apple's Heads of Worldwide Video, Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, and Creative Director for Europe Worldwide Video, Jay Hunt. It is Apple TV+'s latest drama to emerge out of the UK following Slow Horses, also produced by See-Saw Films and starring Gary Oldman, and Suspicion, its remake of Israeli drama False Flag starring Uma Thurman from Keshet Productions.

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