Tom Hiddleston has signed on to star with actor Claire Danes in The Essex Serpent for Apple TV+. The drama series is based on a book about Victorian repression, science and faith, and fear of the unknown, which sold upward of 200,000 copies.
The Essex Serpent was originally due to star Keira Knightley in the lead. However, she dropped out of the project as the result of COVID-related scheduling issues. Knightley was replaced by Danes.
The novel (and presumably the series) is a period piece set in 1893. It tells the story of a widow, Cora Seagrave, who moves from London to a small village in Essex after her marriage to an abusive husband comes to an end. There, she becomes interested in a local legend about a creature called the Essex Serpent. Hiddleston will star as Will Ransome, a trusted leader of the community.
The Essex Serpent will be directed by Clio Bernard. Anna Symon serving as head writer. There’s currently no announced date for when this will debut on Apple TV+. However, it seems unlikely that we’ll see it before late 2021 at the earliest.
Another Marvel alumni joins the Apple TV+ party
Hiddleston signing up for an Apple TV+ series is another A-list coup for Apple. Furthermore, it’s yet another Marvel Cinematic Universe actor lending their talents to Apple TV+. Hiddleston is perhaps best known to audiences as the MCU villain Loki. (He previously narrated the Apple TV+ series Earth at Night in Color.)
Apple already has a detective series produced by (and possibly starring) Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. in the works. Then there’s Cherry, the movie starring Spider-Man actor Tom Holland and directed by the Avengers: Endgame helmers the Russo brothers. And Chris Evans in Defending Jacob.
At this rate, there won’t be too many Marvel alumni who don’t have shows on Apple TV+. Not that that’s a bad thing.