Apple has issued a series order for an adaptation of the period novel “The Essex Serpent” written by Sarah Perry, reports Deadline. The upcoming TV show is set to star Keira Knightley.
“The Essex Serpent” follows the story of a newly widowed woman named Cora Seaborne (played by Knightley) who escapes from an abusive marriage and relocates from Victorian London to the small village of Aldwinter in Essex. Cora is fascinated with the local superstition that a mythical creature called the Essex Serpent roams in the area. From the novel’s description:
While admiring the sites, Cora learns of an intriguing rumor that has arisen further up the estuary, of a fearsome creature said to roam the marshes claiming human lives. After nearly 300 years, the mythical Essex Serpent is said to have returned, taking the life of a young man on New Year’s Eve. A keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, Cora is immediately enthralled, and certain that what the local people think is a magical sea beast may be a previously undiscovered species. Eager to investigate, she is introduced to local vicar William Ransome. Will, too, is suspicious of the rumors. But unlike Cora, this man of faith is convinced the rumors are caused by moral panic, a flight from true belief.
These seeming opposites who agree on nothing soon find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart–an intense relationship that will change both of their lives in ways entirely unexpected.
In addition to starring in the series, Knightley will also serve as one of the executive producers on the series. Knightley is known for starring in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie series, and she has stared in several other high profile films like “Atonement,” “Pride & Prejudice,” “Anna Karenina,” and “Colette.”