Kiera Knightley (Pride & Prejudice, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Imitation Game) is set to star and executive produce the new drama series ordered by Apple, based on Sarah Perry’s Award-winning novel The Essex Serpent, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Anna Symon (Mrs. Wilson) will serve as the lead writer while Clio Barnard (Dark River) will direct.
Perry’s The Essex Serpent follows Cora, played by Knightley, as she escapes an abusive marriage and moves from Victorian London to Aldwinter, a small village in Essex, due to her fascination with rumors that the mythical creature, the Essex Serpent, has come back to the area. Alongside this series, Knightley has also signed onto another series for Hulu which will be based on Suzanne Rindell’s novel The Other Typist.
Knightley’s roles, in particular, her roles in period dramas and independent films, have earned her 2 British Academy Film Nominations, 3 Golden Globe Awards, 3 British independent Film Awards, and 2 Academy Awards. She didn’t receive her breakout role until 2002 with Bend It Like Beckham, until she became better known for playing Elizabeth Swann in 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean.
Jamie Laurenson (An Education, Creation), Hakan Kousetta (Hysteria, The Knot), Iain Canning (The King’s Speech, Lion), and Emile Sherman (The King’s Speech, Shame, Lion) will executive produce along with Knightley, Symon, and Barnard.