Keira Knightley to star in and executive produce period drama series 'The Essex Serpent'

Because no one does a period piece quite like Keira Knightley.
August 24, 2020 6:17 p.m. EST
August 28, 2020 12:00 a.m. EST

Keira Knightley is, to period dramas, what Tiffany Haddish is to comedy, and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is to action movies… it just works. From Pride & Prejudice to Atonement, Pirates of the Caribbean and Colette, Knightley has ruled as the queen (or at least, The Duchess) of Hollywood period dramas for over two decades. And now? She’s making a return to our small screens as the lead of a new project titled The Essex Serpent, based on the bestselling 2016 novel by Sarah Perry.

Deadline reports that new series, coming to Apple TV+, will be directed by Clio Barnard (who wrote and directed 2017's Dark River) and is scripted by Mrs. Wilson writer Anna Symon. The story is set in Essex, England in 1893, and follows Knightley’s character, Cora, a recent widow who relocates to the small town of Aldwinter to make a new life for herself after escaping an abusive marriage. Cora, accompanied by her son Francis and his governess Martha, becomes especially interested in the local folklore, which warns of a mythical creature (known as the Essex Serpent) that has returned to the area to terrorize the town.

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The Essex Serpent boasts a rather impressive production team, with Keira Knightley joining the team of executive producers including Barnard and Symon. The company behind the project, See-Saw Films, previously earned audience approval with The King’s Speech and Top of the Lake.

Fortunately for Knightley fans, this isn’t all we’ll be seeing from her. The ever-regal actress is also set to star in and executive produce an upcoming limited series for Hulu, based on the novel The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

True to form, The Other Typist tells a tale of psychological suspense set in the mid-1920s in New York during Prohibition. The main character, Rose, is a prim and proper police department typist who gets lured into the shadowy world of her glamorous new co-worker, Odalie, played by Knightley.

Could either project be in better hands? Probably not. Go ahead, Keira. Do your thing.

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