When news of the upcoming Apple Tv+ drama series, The Essex Serpent, shot onto our radar, we nodded in agreement when rumours circled that queen of all period drama's, Keira Knightley, would be cast in the leading role. But when Knightley announced she would be stepping away from the project in October last year, we were left wondering who could possibly take her place.
Today, we wonder no more. The formidable Claire Danes has been confirmed to take on the role of Cora, in the screen-adaptation of Sarah Perry's novel of the same name. The Essex Serpent series follows the tale of the newly widowed Cora Seaborne, who, having being released from an abusive marriage, relocates from Victorian London to the small village of Aldwinter in Essex. An amateur paleontologist, Cora is intrigued at the possibility to investigate a local superstition that a mythical creature – known as the Essex Serpent – has returned to the area.
As she begins to settle in, she crosses paths with the local rector, who becomes both her love interest and sparring partner. A man of religion, and Cora a devotee to science, the two go back and forth. What ensues is a Gothic tale of murder, romance, and fossil hunting that will have you gripped every second of the way.
The Essex Serpent, is being produced by See-Saw Films, the production company behind the Oscar-winning, Colin Firth-starring, film – The King's Speech. Director Clio Barnard, the woman behind Dark River and The Selfish Giant will helm the film, while Mrs Wilson scribe Anna Symon is the lead writer.
As we know, Danes is no stranger to the screen. The four-time Golden Globe winner and a three-time Emmy winner stole our hearts forever when she starred alongside Leonardo Dicaprio in Baz Luhrmann's iconic Romeo & Juliet. We have no doubt that her latest role will be just as historic.