Claire Danes Has Signed On Lead ‘The Essex Serpent’, A Period Drama With A Haunted Twist

Sign! Us! Up!

While Keira Knightley, the reigning queen of period-dramas, was rumoured to be taking on yet another historic role, Variety reports Claire Danes has signed on to star as the lead role in the upcoming Apple TV+ drama series, The Essex Serpent. 

Taking on the role of Cora in a TV adaptation of the Sarah Perry’s novel of the same name, the series will be produced by See-Saw Films, best known for its work on The King’s Speech, according to Deadline.

Based on Perry’s original book, the story is set near the end of the 19th-century and follows Cora Seaborne, a young widow and keen amateur paleontologist. She leaves London for Aldwinter, Essex, to investigate a mythical creature wreaking havoc in the Blackwater estuary.

Once there, she meets the local rector, William Ransome, who becomes both her love interest and sparring partner—he is devoted to religion, she to science. The story becomes a Gothic tale of murder, romance, and fossil hunting that’s sure to have you holding your breath.

claire danes

Danes has an incredible list of credentials as an actress. A four-time Golden Globe winner and three-time Emmy winner, her Golden Globe wins were for My So-Called Life and Homeland, as well as for HBO film Temple Grandin. Of course, who could forget such projects as Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as The Hours, opposite Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore. 

And while we would have loved seeing Knightley in The Essex Serpent, we don’t have to wait too long to see the actress return to our screens, with the star set to time-travel to the ’20s in the upcoming months, to play an elegant stenographer named Odalie in the Hulu series based on Suzanne Rindell’s The Other Typist.

Against the backdrop of downtown Manhattan at the height of Prohibition, the plot follows Odalie and ‘prudish’ fellow typist Rose, who work together in an NYPD station on the Lower East Side. As Rose becomes more intrigued with Odalie’s fashionable way of life, she becomes deeply obsessed with her newfound companion in a way similar to 1999’s The Talented Mr. Ripley.

The Essex Serpent is yet to have a confirmed release date on Apple TV+.

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