Apple TV+, See Saw Films adapt ‘Essex Serpent’ with Keira Knightley onboard

Keira Knightley in Misbehaviour

Apple TV+ has ordered a Keira Knightley-fronted adaptation of the Sarah Perry novel The Essex Serpent from Top Of The Lake producer See-Saw Films, marking the prodco’s second commission from the tech giant.

Mrs Wilson scribe Anna Symon is attached to write the period drama, while Clio Barnard (The Dark River) will direct. Knightley stars and exec produces.

Set in 1893, Knightley (The Imitation Game, Pirates Of The Caribbean) will play the newly widowed Cora, who moves from Victorian London to a small Essex village following the end of an abusive marriage.

Once she has arrived, she soon becomes fascinated by a local legend that a fantastical creature called the Essex Serpent has returned to the area.

See-Saw Films is based in London and Sydney and, as well as producing both seasons of Top Of The Lake, has created TV projects including The New Legends Of Monkey and State Of The Union, as well as features Lion, Shame and The King’s Speech.

It is also working on scripted spy series Slow Horses, which will star Gary Oldman and has Justified‘s Graham Yost attached to exec produce. The show marked the first drama ordered by Apple’s UK-based exec Jay Hunt.

Apple TV+ recently renewed sports comedy Ted Lasso for a second season and ordered its first competition showMy Kind Of Country, which is being produced by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine.

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