Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley’s next big period drama will be The Essex Serpent

Posted by for Entertainment

You know it’s going to be a great period drama when Keira Knightley is involved. 

Keira Knightley is the queen of period dramas. 

From Pride & Prejudice to Atonement, Anna Karenina, The Aftermath and Colette – the actor has played the lead roles in some of the most successful dramas in recent years.

That’s why we’re pretty excited about the announcement of her newest project: a TV series adaptation of Sarah Perry’s best-selling novel, The Essex Serpent.  

Deadline has confirmed that Knightley will both executive produce and star in The Essex Serpent, which has been commissioned by Apple TV+. 

The series will be directed by Dark River and The Selfish Giant director Clio Barnard, and is written by Mrs Wilson writer Anna Symon.

The Essex Serpent:
The Essex Serpent: Claire Danes will now take the lead in the Apple TV+ series.

What is The Essex Serpent about?

Set in 1893, The Essex Serpent follows the story of newly widowed Cora (played by Knightley). Released from her abusive marriage, she relocates from Victorian London to the small village of Aldwinter in Essex. 

Cora becomes intrigued by a local superstition that a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent has returned to the area.

As she sets out on its trail, she is introduced to William Ransome, Aldwinter’s vicar. Although they agree on absolutely nothing, they soon find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart…

The novel was named Book of the Year at the British Book Awards and Waterstones Book of the Year in 2016.

Although there is no news on when to expect the series to hit Apple TV+, we will keep you updated with any new details when they are released. 

One thing’s for sure: with Knightley’s involvement, the adaptation is sure to be a hit.

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: Getty

Share this article

Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…