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Apple TV+ inks deal for 'The Essex Serpent' adaptation starring Keira Knightley

Credit: Deadline

Apple TV+ has inked a deal for an adaptation of Sarah Perry novel "The Essex Serpent" starring Keira Knightley, who will also executive produce.

The company's content division has ordered the project to series from See-Saw Films, known for works such as "The King's Speech" and "Top of the Lake," Deadline reports.

Set in 1893, "The Essex Serpent" will follow the newly widowed Cora, played by Knightley. Recently released from an abusive marriage, Cora relocates from Victorian London to a small village in Aldwinter, intrigued by the superstition of a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent.

Reportedly, the series was commissioned by Apple worldwide video chiefs Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, as well as Apple TV+ Europe Creative Director Jay Hunt.

"The Essex Serpent" novel, set in 1893, was published in 2016 and named Book of the Year by the British Book Awards.

Clio Barnard, known for "Dark River" and "The Selfish Giant," will direct. The show will be written by "Mrs Wilson" writer Anna Symon. Barnard, Symon and Knightley will executive produce alongside Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Patrick Walters, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman. Andrea Cornwell will serve as producer.

"The Essex Serpent" will join other Apple TV+ original content to come out of the UK, including See-Saw Films-produced "Slow Horses" and spy thriller "Suspicion."