Keira Knightley-led The Essex Serpent Ordered to Series at Apple

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Apple is bringing Keira Knightley into the fold.

The streamer has given a series order to The Essex Serpent a new, period drama series that will star Academy Award-nominee (Colette, The Imitation Game, Atonement).

Knightley will also serve as executive producer on the series adapted from Sarah Perry’s bestselling and 2016 British Book Award-winning novel of the same name.

Keira Knightley

It follows newly widowed Cora (Knightley) who, having being released from an abusive marriage, relocates from Victorian London to the small village of Aldwinter in Essex, intrigued by a local superstition that a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent has returned to the area.

The series will be directed by Clio Barnard (The Selfish Giant, The Arbor).

Anna Symon (Deep Water, Mrs Wilson) will serve as lead writer. In addition to Knightley, Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Patrick Walters, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman will executive produce the show alongside Clio Barnard and Anna Symon.

Keira Knightley Attends Premiere

Andrea Cornwell will serve as producer.

The Essex Serpent will be produced for Apple TV+ by See-Saw Films, and is commissioned for Apple out of the UK by Apple’s Heads of Worldwide Video, Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, and Creative Director for Europe Worldwide Video, Jay Hunt.

The series will join a growing slate of Apple Original international dramas, from global award-winning storytellers and talent, including the highly anticipated series Suspicion, Slow Horses, Echo 3, Shantaram, Pachinko, Masters of the Air, and more.

Launching last November, Apple TV+ has been a resounding success, attracting big-name stars such as Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carrell into the fold. 

Keira Knightley Attends Chanel Event

It also recently aired the Tom Hanks-led Greyhound, which it acquired because the movie didn't make it to cinemas due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The streamer recently launched Ted Lasso, which is drawing rave reviews, and scored an early second season renewal due to strong early ratings. 

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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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