Claire Danes to Star in Apple TV+ Series 'Essex Serpent'
Claire Danes, known for "Homeland," is set to star in upcoming Apple TV+ series "Essex Serpent," reports Variety. When Apple inked a deal for the series back in August, it was meant to star Keira Knightly, but she exited the project in October.
"Essex Serpent" is based on the Sarah Perry period novel of the same name. It follows the story of a newly widowed woman named Cora Seaborne 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 "Homeland" in recent years, Dane is also known for "My So-Called Life," "Temple Grandin," "The Hours," and "Romeo + Juliet." Filming has not yet begun on "Essex Serpent" and there's still no word on when it might premiere on Apple TV+.
Top Rated Comments
Many of us in the IC were consultants. Gansa really wanted to tap into the sociopolitical global thread and much of what was written and shot was done a year before a season aired. I remember in season 5 in Berlin the main story arc and climax included
attacks on numerous European cities, not just Berlin and Quinn (Rupert Friend). It was written and filmed in 2014/early 2015. Then came the Paris attacks in November 2015 and CBS/Showtime met with Gansa, Danes, and a few of us to discuss what should be done as the show paralleled exactly what was happening and it the material would have aired right after the attacks. We had to rewrite the ending and removed Paris, Brussels - numerous EU capitals and cities - and changed the climax for the season. Otto’s attempts at discrediting Carrie (Danes) were not due to romantic interests - he was secretly funding Syrian‘s fighting al-Assad in Syria to atone for his past families associations with Nazi Germany and thought his financial and other support was to overthrow Assad and stop his Russian funded war against those who opposed him (Putin has his own interests in the Middle East - the only warm water naval port Russia has in the Mediterranean requires the Ukraine and access through the Middle East hence Russia’s support of middle eastern princes and nations). That all came back to haunt him as they attacked Europe instead.
The entire ending had to be scrapped and reshot within weeks. We removed everything but the attack on Berlin and focused on Quinn and Carrie and the aftermath and made Otto’s intentions of removing Carrie as she was getting too close to his organizations work in Syria as a love interest.
Rupert Friend wrote the letter that Claire Danes reads to him on a flight back for reshoots at Alex Gansa’s request. He put it in an envelope and no one read it until the scene was shot. Before the scene was filmed, production located an abandoned hospital outside Berlin and padded the walls of a room with used mattresses for a quick makeshift recording studio and Friend read the letter that was to be played during the scene.
Danes read the letter while production played Friend‘s recorded audio on set - it was the first time anyone read/heard what Friend wrote. The reactions from Danes was her actual response to what Friend wrote for his character. They only did one take.
So what you’re seeing in the hospital scene with Claire reading Quinn’s letter was one take and Danes’ actual emotional response. I remember the set was so quiet for a minute afterwards you would hear a pin drop.
Quinn was supposed to have died in season 5 but fan response brought him back. I wasn’t involved in seasons 6 on.
That always stuck with me.
As for some who claim Danes isn’t a good actress - far from it. She was and is brilliant. She was very invested in the series as she is very sociopolitical active in life. The series finale with Danes’ character living in Moscow and looking over the wall of articles - those were all actual articles from countless newspapers and released documents of events since 9/11. A poignant commentary on real world events and wars that the series perfectly addressed.
I’m very interested in Danes’ next project. I know it will be excellent and recommend everyone give Homeland a watch.