A collage of The Girl Before book cover and a picture of Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

The Girl Before: the BBC’s new psychological thriller sounds all kinds of twisted

Posted by for TV

The BBC are adapting JP Delaney’s bestselling psychological thriller The Girl Before into a limited four-part series – and it sounds seriously twisted.

Updated 24 March: X-Men: Apocalypse star Ben Hardy has been cast in BBC One and HBO Max’s upcoming psychological thriller The Girl Before.

Hardy, who previously starred the Amazon Prime thriller The Voyeurs, will play Simon, the boyfriend of the series’ main character, Jane.

According to Variety, who revealed the news, Simon “can’t quite believe he’s got a girlfriend like Emma” and will do “anything to keep her, but worries he’s not enough for her”. 

The description continues: “[Seeing Emma] living in the minimalist haven of One Folgate Street, the creation of Edward Monkford, heightens his insecurities even more.”

Here’s everything else we know about the upcoming series.  

As reported 7 March: When it comes to TV, there are few things better than a good psychological thriller.

From the spine-chilling revelations of Behind Her Eyes to the twists and turns of The Stranger, it’s hard not to find yourself hooked on all of the brilliant edge-of-your-seat moments the genre offers.

So, when we heard that the BBC was bringing a new psychological thriller to our screens – and that, like Behind Her Eyes and The Stranger, it was being adapted from a bestselling novel – it’s safe to say we were pretty excited about what’s to come.  

Called The Girl Before, the series is based on the novel of the same name by JP Delaney, who will create, write and executive produce the series. Split into four-parts, the limited series will tell the story of Jane, who finds herself stuck in an unsettling dynamic with her landlord.

So, what can you expect from the BBC’s new series? Here are all the details you need to know.

What is The Girl Before about? 

Because The Girl Before is based on a book, we already have a pretty good idea of the series’ plot.

As we’ve already mentioned, The Girl Before is based on the story of Jane, a woman who, while looking for a place to rent, stumbles upon the “rental opportunity of a lifetime” – she can move into a luxurious, ultra-minimalist house known as ‘One Folgate Street’, as long as she abides by a long list of exacting rules laid out by her landlord, an “enigmatic architect”.

However, things are more complicated than they first seem. 

The Girl Before cover art
The Girl Before by JP Delaney.

The official synopsis reads: “Jane starts to feel the house changing her in unexpected ways, but when she makes the shocking discovery that her predecessor Emma died in the house, she’s forced to confront unnerving similarities.

“As the two women’s timelines interweave, Jane begins to question if her fate will be the same as the girl before…”

Who stars in The Girl Before?

So far, just the two main roles have been cast.

Playing Jane is Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who recently starred as Hannah Shoenfeld in Apple TV+’s The Morning Show and is playing Mary Seacole in the upcoming biopic of the historic figure’s life.

David Oyelowo, known for his roles in Selma and Les Misérables, will play Edward Monkford, the “enigmatic architect” who takes Jane into his home. 

David Oyelowo
The Girl Before: David Oyelowo will star alongside Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

Behind the scenes, Lisa Brühlmann (Killing Eve, Blue My Mind) will direct, and Marissa Lestrade will join the project as co-writer.

Speaking in a press release for the series, Brühlmann said she couldn’t wait to get started.

“Can our surroundings, like a special house, affect who we are, even change us?” she said. “The ability to change our beliefs and our character is highly fascinating to me. I can’t wait to bring this female-driven thriller to life.” 

When and where will The Girl Before be available to watch?

The Girl Before will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK and HBO Max in the US. However, we don’t yet have a release date for the series, so for now, we’ll have to wait for more details to be announced.

We’ll update this space with more information when we get it, so keep your eyes peeled for the latest updates. 

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s junior digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.