Keira Knightley to star in The Essex Serpent for AppleTV+

Keira Knightley to star in The Essex SerpentKeira Knightley will star and executively produce the television adaptation of The Essex Serpent for AppleTV+.

According to a report by Variety, the series will be an adaptation of Sarah Perry’s novel that won book of the year at the British Book Awards in 2016.

The Essex Serpent is set in 1893 and centers on a newly widowed woman named Cora (played by Knightley) who has just been released from an abusive marriage and who relocates from Victorian London to the small village of Aldwinter in Essex. Once there, she becomes fascinated by the local superstition about a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent which has reportedly returned to the area.

The project will be directed by Clio Barnard (Dark River, The Selfish Giant) and written by Anna Symon (Mrs. Wilson, Deep Water). Knightley, Barnard, and Symon will executively produce the series alongside Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Patrick Walters, Iain Canning, and Emile Sherman while Andrea Cornwell will be producing.

This is Knightley‘s latest television project, following the announcement that she will be starring in the adaptation of Suzanne Rindell’s novel, The Other Typist, as a limited series for Hulu. The Other Typist will be written by Ilene Chaiken (The L Word) and she will also serve as show runner and producer.

The series will follow the journey of Rose, a police department typist who gets drawn into the intriguing criminal world of her new co-worker, Odalie (played by Knightley). Set in New York City at the height of the Prohibition era, The Other Typist is described as a “psychosexual suspense thriller” that tackles themes of “identity, class, obsession, and misplaced desire.”

Knightley is always at home in period dramas – Pride and Prejudice, Atonement, Anna Karenina, The Duchess, Colette, The Imitation Game, Pirates of the Caribbean, to name a few. These two projects are a great fit for her as well as good opportunities for her to return to television since most of her career has been in film. Her latest film (another period drama) was Misbehaviour with Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Keeley Hawes and her next appearance will be in Camille Griffin’s comedy Silent Night.